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Protesting the Tiananmen Square Crack-down

June fourth marks the 17 year anniversary of Chinese troops violently ending the democratic demonstrations in Tiananmen Square. Hong Kong’s Victoria Park is the only place on Chinese soil where candles are lit every year in memory of the hundreds that were killed that night.

Victoria Park Commemoration of Tananmen Square Crack-down
Victoria Park, June 4, 2006

The organizers estimated that 44,000 people attended the event. The police put the figure at 19,000. Donald Tsang, Hong Kong’s CEO was out of town but put out a statement basically suggesting that the whole matter be put in the context of the progress that has been made economically. How improved prosperity mitigates the death of hundreds of people escapes me.

I think it was in 1990 0r ’91, that I was so impressed when, while staying at the Park Lane Hotel, I saw what I thought was over 100,00 people carrying candles to commemorate the Tiananmen Square fallen. Good times have a way of taking the edge off protests of this sort. Only 1200 people marched in the protest parade from Central to the park. I was among the missing, myself.

One of the attendees pointed out the irony of the Chinese government refusing to soften its view of Japanese conduct in WW II but wanting people to forget the 1989 Tiananmen Square incident. I don’t know if the analogy is accurate but it appears there are people in Hong Kong who are not willing to forget what happened on June 4, 1989.