Victoria Park was packed last night with people calling for the vindication of the Tiananmen Square protesters - and demanding the release of Hong Kong journalist Ching Cheong. Waving candles and singing, they spread across five soccer pitches chanting: 'Vindication of June 4', 'Learn from history', 'End one-party dictatorship' and 'Release Ching Cheong'. Ching is being held on the mainland on spying charges. Hours before the estimated 45,000-strong crowd had gathered, Donald Tsang Yam-kuen admitted that he too had shared the emotions felt in Hong Kong 16 years ago when the student protest was crushed. But he said things had changed. 'I have seen our country's impressive economic and social development,' he told a radio programme. 'These have given me a more objective comparison and my feelings have become calmer.' He urged people to be more 'rational and objective'. In response, Catholic leader Bishop Joseph Zen Ze-kiun said: 'Even though our feelings may be different at different times, the truth is unchanged. I am more and more confident that it [the crackdown] was a big mistake.' Attendance was back to normal after last year's record 80,000 turnout on the 15th anniversary, but police put the figure at 22,000. Housewife Helen Wong Hung-tsing, 40, said she would return every year until there was a reassessment of the crackdown. 'It's our history, we can't forget it.' Yu Kwai-gin, 72, said: 'The Chinese government always criticises Japan for erasing history, but why do they erase their own history?'