Young mainlanders seek truth at City U's Tiananmen exhibition

Young people cross the border to learn more about the 1989 crackdown at City U exhibition

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 16 April, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 16 April, 2013, 4:38am

Young mainlanders visited an exhibition on the Tiananmen crackdown at City University yesterday in pursuit of the truth.

The exhibition - which opened yesterday on the 24th anniversary of the death of reformist icon Hu Yaobang - was hosted by local activists from the Alliance in Support of Patriotic Democratic Movements in China. They hoped the Kowloon Tong venue would attract more visitors, and expected more than 40,000 - more than 20 per cent of them mainlanders - to visit in the next three months.

"Not only City University's teaching staff and students can visit … it is also convenient for Hongkongers and our mainland compatriots," alliance chairman Lee Cheuk-yan said.

The exhibition featured board displays, artefacts and a video of the student-led mass protests that erupted after Hu's death, which ended in bloodshed in June 1989.

A 23-year-old Guangzhou visitor said she had never heard about the crackdown until her university classmates talked about it a few years ago.

"Democracy can be realised only with the incident's vindication," she said. "Without that, how can reforms be possible?"

A 30-year-old Shandong man said: "I knew the students were suppressed in Beijing in 1989 … but these political issues are sensitive on the mainland, so I wanted to know more from an objective perspective."

Speaking on a radio programme, Lee said more than 20 secondary schools and two universities had signed up for guided tours at the exhibition.

Two philanthropists would donate HK$10 - up to HK$10,000 - for each photo taken by visitors. The money would be used to find a permanent home for artefacts and material related to the crackdown, he said.

The exhibition will run until July 15.