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  • Aug 30, 2014
  • Updated: 8:01pm
Tiananmen Square crackdown
NewsHong Kong
JUNE 4

Sea of lights as ‘record crowd’ marks 25th anniversary of Tiananmen crackdown

Record crowd claimed as Hong Kong commemorates 25th anniversary of Tiananmen crackdown with calls for democracy and candles held high

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 04 June, 2014, 11:40pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 05 June, 2014, 6:11pm

Victoria Park became a galaxy of candlelight last night with what was claimed to be a record crowd marking the 25th anniversary of the June 4 crackdown.

Conflict within the ranks of the democracy movement led to radicals holding an alternative rally in Tsim Sha Tsui.

But the Hong Kong Alliance in Support of Patriotic Democratic Movements in China put the number in Victoria Park at more than 180,000, well up from the 150,000 reported last year.

Watch: Hong Kong hosts China's largest -- and only -- 25th anniversary Tiananmen remembrance rally

Police put the turnout at 99,500, compared with 54,000 last year. The previous biggest turnout reported by the alliance was 180,000 in 2012.

Even as the commemoration started at 8pm, thousands of people were waiting to get into the park, with the queue stretching all the way to the Sogo department store in Causeway Bay.

Many travelled from the mainland to join the vigil, with Hong Kong - and its neighbouring Macau - the only places on Chinese soil where people can observe the anniversary in public and on such a large scale.

"Let's show our sea of lights to [President] Xi Jinping ! Fight until the end!" said alliance chairman Lee Cheuk-yan.

Let's show our sea of lights to [President] Xi Jinping ! Fight until the end!
Alliance chairman, Lee Cheuk-yan

In contrast, Beijing was eerily quiet. Tiananmen Square and other key locations were heavily guarded by police. Only a few family members of four of the victims killed in the 1989 crackdown were allowed to visit the Wanan Cemetery where their loved ones were buried. They were closely watched by security officers.

Zhang Xianling, a founder of the Tiananmen Mothers group, said she alone was watched by at least 20 plain-clothes officers. "This shows the authorities still lack the courage to face the grievous mistake they made 25 years ago," she said.

In Hong Kong, video messages from eight exiled dissidents, including Wang Dan, Wuer Kaixi, Yan Jiaqi and Wang Juntao, were broadcast. Wang Dan said the desire for democracy lived on.

"We will certainly see the dawn of the victory if we continue to persevere," he said.

Teng Biao, a mainland civil rights lawyer, said: "I hope one day Chinese citizens will have the freedom of protest, which is a right protected by the Chinese constitution, as well as a basic human right.

"However, many human rights activists … have sacrificed their freedom trying to pursue this right. Some have even lost their lives for it."

At the close of the gathering, the alliance called on participants to join the annual July 1 pro-democracy march.

The Federation of Students protested outside the central government's liaison office in Hong Kong after the vigil.

Radical pan-democratic lawmaker Wong Yuk-man's Proletariat Political Institute and online media platform Passion Times jointly held an alternative vigil in Tsim Sha Tsui.

Organisers put the turnout at about 7,000 - much higher than they had expected - but police said the figure was nearer 3,000. Pro-Beijing group Voice of Loving Hong Kong staged its own rally - attended by about 20 people - right next to the candlelight vigil in Victoria Park. It screened a video purportedly showing that "nobody died at Tiananmen Square".

Police stepped in to keep the group and some members of the huge crowd apart, although there were scuffles.

Watch: Groups clash with pro-Beijing group ahead of Hong Kong's June 4 vigil; one arrested

Earlier in the day, government-friendly lawmakers walked out of the Legislative Council as pan-democrats observed a minute's silence, after Lee Cheuk-yan's request for formal mourning was rejected by Legco President Jasper Tsang Yok-sing.

Yesterday in Macau, over 2,000 people gathered at Senado Square to commemorate those who lost their lives in the crackdown, the Macau Daily Times reported.

Gary Cheung, Tanna Chong, Tony Cheung, Jeffie Lam, Johnny Tam and Minnie Chan

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321manu
I'm not a teacher. But clearly some people around here have some learning to do when it comes to logical fallacies. So this is my small contribution to the re-education of those folks in need of same. It's not going to affect the true believers, since they're impermeable to logic and education. But this should at least clarify for them exactly what mistake they're making (over and over and over again, in some cases).
"Tu Quoque is a very common fallacy in which one attempts to defend oneself or another from criticism by turning the critique back against the accuser. This is a classic Red Herring since whether the accuser is guilty of the same, or a similar, wrong is irrelevant to the truth of the original charge."
321manu
Daniel,
I suggest you look up tu quoque as well, cuz you don't seem to have grasped the concept either. So for instance, you can condemn the 'war on terror'. You can separately condemn the CCP's handling of TAM. Those things needn't be mutually exclusive. And doing either or both of those things would not be invoking a logical fallacy.
However, excusing TAM because of 'war on terror' (for example) is precisely what a tu quoque logical fallacy is.
So yes, you can "just condemn" the CCP without comparing to the US...just as you can "just condemn" the war on terror without invoking TAM. It's really not that complicated, and it still boggles my mind that so many people need to resort to logical fallacies all of the time. It seems to be a flaw in the education system the world over.
And also, don't conflate China with CCP. Another common mistake.
321manu
It is so interesting to see CCP apologists like M Miyagi repeatedly attempt tu quoque arguments ('the US did this and that'; 'oh, look at Kent State'). I suppose when you have no logical arguments, logical fallacies are all that you have to work with.
Hey Miyagi, if something like TAM happened in DC, and the Americans responded like the PLA did, are you saying the Americans would get a free pass just as you're giving a free pass to the PLA and CCP? The answer had better be yes, otherwise you have zero logical consistency. But it is simply ridiculous to compare the US and China as you have done: the US would be holding people to account, and the CCP simply ignores it, refuses to acknowledge it, and persecutes anyone who tries to bring it up, for 25 years and counting.
kctony
321menu
They still don't get it
Daniel Lee
M Miyagi is right in pointing out that the US and Britain have an extremely brutal history and present. He raises an interesting contrast that people shouldn't ignore when looking at China. You can't just condemn China without also comparing it to the US especially the US War on Terror etc. So if M Miyagi is a CCP apologists would that also make you 321manu a CIA apologist or worse?
321manu
Umm, first off, I'm not trying to defend the US, whereas Miyagi is trying to defend the CCP. And second, I'm not using logical fallacies in the attempt to do so. So no, if Miyagi is a CCP apologist, that doesn't render me an apologist for the CIA or anybody else. Again, the logic is not complicated.
kctony
Mrs. Elsie Tu, despite of her in U-turn political views, did make clear that she bashed only the British & US governments, not the British & American people. What I read here is, many readers simply lump them into one.
I too, bash the Chinese system, but never trashed my own people. Do I want to live in China? Hell, no.
bpoon1pc
I think the discussion missed the points: 1. Chinese government never denied that thousands of people were killed but it is true that there is no accurate numbers of civilian and soldiers killed or wounded. 2. Deng made it clear in front of TV (we can get itin Ytube) why he decided what he needed to do based on ????????Yes, we can condemn what CCP did but they never hide their intention. 25 years now, when we see what happened in Syria, Egypt and Thailand, we actually do not know what will happen to China if CCP used differerent approach to solve the June 4 problem. China really has very painful history for the last 150 years, we can stand up a little bit now and we are surrounded by all kind of enemies again orchestrated by the American again.
pangkf
People who have no understanding about the history have no future.
M Miyagi
If something like Tiananmen happened in Washington D.C or London and the millions of demonstrators became violent and started burning and killing the security forces sent to clear the scene, the casualties will probably run into the hundreds of thousands.

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