Since 1990, Hongkongers have commemorated the Tiananmen Square crackdown with a candlelight vigil in Victoria Park. In recent years, the event has become something of a flash point. Increasingly estranged from their counterparts in the mainland, young activists have instead focused their ire and energy on the decaying state of democracy in Hong Kong. Nevertheless, this is still the largest commemorative event in Hong Kong (if not the world), with tens of thousands in attendance each year. The vigil starts at 8pm and ends about two hours later, but try to arrive by 7:30pm to get a relatively good standing space.
For many people in Hong Kong, June 4 is a complicated date. It’s a reminder of how life has changed since the crackdown on activists in Beijing’s Tiananmen Square in 1989, when the Chinese military raised arms against its own citizens and brutally put down the democracy movement, as well as how democratic values have eroded in Hong Kong and elsewhere. Some commemorate the date as a way to show solidarity with democracy activists in China. Others use the moment to focus their energy on Hong Kong’s own issues with democracy.
This June 4 marks 30 years since the violent end to China’s democracy movement. While the incident remains notoriously taboo in the mainland, Hong Kong residents have commemorated the Tiananmen Square massacre with a candlelight vigil every year since 1990. This year will be no different, but there are several other important events happening around Hong Kong as well. Here's what you need to know about this June 4.