Mainlanders barred from publicly mourning Zhao Ziyang at home mingled with Hongkongers last night in an emotional candle-light vigil - the only mass memorial for the late leader on Chinese soil. They joined at least 10,000 mourners beneath a huge portrait of the purged party chief to pay tribute to the man remembered as a liberal who opposed the 1989 military crackdown on students fighting for democracy. Zhao Shouyong, 51, a factory worker from Anhui, who is in Hong Kong visiting family, said: 'On the mainland, you're not allowed to hold such kind of gathering.' He described Zhao as a person who 'put the people as his top priority'. Mostly dressed in black, mourners wrote condolences on a 'democracy wall', and lay white chrysanthemums on a makeshift funeral altar. The portrait of Zhao, flanked by banners reading: 'Vindication of June 4!' 'Mourning Ziyang!' was hung over a stage erected on one of three soccer pitches in Victoria Park used for the vigil. The event kicked off with video footage of Zhao visiting student demonstrators during the Tiananmen protests, as well as his role in the signing of the Sino-British Joint Declaration, followed by reading of messages from Hong Kong and overseas. The vigil was mostly quiet, but a burst of booing broke out when a speaker referred to remarks by Legislative Council President Rita Fan Hsu Lai-tai - when she ruled out a minute's silence in the chamber - that Zhao could not be compared with Deng Xiaoping. Simon Lee Kam-hung, 43, brought his two daughters and two sons to the vigil, as he does every year for the June 4 commemoration. 'He's a real hero. He did what he had to do,' Mr Lee said.