Thousands of protesters in Hong Kong held public vigils for the anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre on Thursday, despite police orders forbidding large gatherings.
On the evening of June 4, thousands took to the streets of Hong Kong to commemorate the anniversary of the 1989 massacre and to protest against new security laws being imposed on the region by the Chinese national legislature.
On June 4, 1989, as Chinese military fired on mass pro-democracy demonstrations by students in Tiananmen Square, killing at least hundreds and injuring thousands. Commemorations of the massacre are censored in the Chinese mainland, but annual vigils to remember the event have been held each year in Hong Kong, a special administrative region of China.
A public vigil for the anniversary of the massacre had originally been planned to be held in Victoria Park on June 4, but police curtailed the event because of public health restrictions during the new coronavirus pandemic.
Thousands of people still climbed over police barriers into the park on Thursday evening, lighting candles and observing a moment of silence for the Tiananmen victims, according to the Hong Kong Free Press.
Elsewhere in Hong Kong, some protesters blocked streets and clashed with police, while others gathered in other parts of the city, chanting in favor of democracy and against security legislation that the Chinese national legislature is imposing on the region.
A spokesman for the diocese of Hong Kong told Catholic News Service that “special Masses” would be offered on the evening of June 4, and that the police order against the Victoria Park gathering “does not mean that there will be no vigil.”
According to the South China Morning Post, more than 3,000 riot officers were deployed in the city.
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