Last night, tens of thousands of people gathered in Hong Kong’s Victoria Park to remember the civilians who were brutally murdered in Tiananmen Square, Beijing, 25 years ago. The air was somber, but a strong note of anger and frustration ran throughout the proceedings. Together, peacefully, an estimated 180,000 people (or 99,500, according to the police) lit candles, sang songs and chanted slogans demanding justice, while sitting on the ground side by side.
The signs that flank the community leaders on stage say “‘Fight to the end” and “Redress 6/4”.
People raised their candles in memory of the victims.
People entering the park were greeted by pro-democracy activists seeking donations to support their efforts.
Activists held replicas of the Goddess of Democracy, a 10-meter-tall statue built by arts students to bolster morale when the Tiananmen protests seemed to falter.
The mood was not always dark; some found joy in the show of solidarity.
A man with a small child holding a poster attracted the journalists’ attention.
People of all ages and occupations showed up.
A young girl sits in between her parents.
A woman reads one of the many pamphlets handed out that night.
A young boy lights his candle.
Many in the crowd were too young to remember the Tiananmen massacre as anything more than a historical event. Others however, remembered all too well.
A friend recounts her memories of hearing about the event as a young student in Hong Kong: “Thousands of people protested in Po Leung Kok garden. In class, our teachers showed us video footage and newspaper clippings. We all cried. I was only 9 or 10 years old.”
A monument was erected in the center of the park. A replica of the Goddess of Democracy watched over the vigil. Lyrics were provided to those unfamiliar to the songs sung in unison by the crowds.
A couple of protesters waved the flag of colonial Hong Kong.
Crowds streamed onto the MTR and onto buses to get home after the vigil ended at around 10pm.