Tiananmen Square crackdown

Runners hit streets to mark key anniversaries

PUBLISHED : Monday, 05 May, 2014, 5:01am
UPDATED : Monday, 05 May, 2014, 5:01am

More than 30 activists marked two significant dates in China's history with a 25-kilometre run held by the Hong Kong Alliance in Support of Patriotic Democratic Movements in China.

The distance referred to the imminent 25th anniversary of the bloody crackdown on democracy protesters in Tiananmen Square on June 4, 1989.

The date, meanwhile, honoured the May 4 movement of 1911, when students and intellectuals advocated democracy and science as the pathways to a stronger nation.

"The May 4 movement inspired Chinese nationals to fight for democracy, and its spirit was passed on to the student movement in 1989," alliance chairman Lee Cheuk-yan said yesterday. "Thus, it is particularly meaningful to host the 'Remember June 4' run today to pass on the spirit of the movement."

Wearing white T-shirts, the participants started the run at the clock tower in Tsim Sha Tsui, then passed the newly opened June 4 museum at Foo Hoo Centre on Austin Avenue and Polytechnic University in Hung Hom.

After taking the ferry to Central, they continued through Admiralty, Wan Chai and Causeway Bay before ending their run at the central government's liaison office in Sai Wan, where they handed in a petition demanding the vindication of the 1989 democracy movement.

The alliance organises the run every year and increases the length by a kilometre every time.

Meanwhile, Lee confirmed they had received a second lawyer's letter from the owners' corporation of Foo Hoo Centre.

This time, the alliance was notified that it would be sued for violating the property's deeds by opening a museum on premises that could be used only for commercial activities.

Lee said he was confident that the alliance had firm legal grounds to fight the case in court.

Corporation chairman Stanly Chau Kwok-chiu said last month that he would pay to sue the alliance on behalf of the corporation. The alliance bought the 800 sq ft fifth-floor unit for more than HK$9.7 million in December, and on April 26 officially opened the world's first museum dedicated to the June 4 incident despite neighbours' objections.

The alliance believes the objections are based on political grounds and concerns about being associated with such a controversial topic. The corporation insists its legal action is based only on the deeds and concerns about overcrowding and safety as visitors flock to the museum, though at least one tenant has admitted that political sensitivity is also part of their concern.