Thousands of people streamed onto the soccer fields — still wet from the afternoon’s rain — in Hong Kong’s Victoria Park on Monday evening to commemorate the 29th anniversary of the June 4, 1989 crackdown at Tiananmen Square.
The organizers — from the Alliance in Support of Patriotic Democratic Movements of China — said that despite the rain, around 115,000 people turned out for this year’s vigil, though Hong Kong police have a history of disputing the group’s estimates, often placing the total much lower.
The crowd was filled with both mainland Chinese and Hong Kong residents. Before the event, early-arriving attendees strolled through the park: some huddled under umbrellas, some debated the ways Hong Kong had changed in recent years, and some laid flowers on a memorial for Nobel winner Liu Xiaobo. During the evening program, musicians played the protest song “Flowers of Freedom” and organizers led the crowd in chants of, “End one-party dictatorship!”
After the event, as a smaller group of protestors began their annual march to Beijing’s liaison office in Hong Kong, a group of volunteers began scraping melted candle wax from the event grounds. Activists said that cleanliness was crucial, as a dirty protest site could undermine the group’s image.
Note: SupChina was taken down by a DDoS attack on the afternoon of June 4, China time, and was hit again about 12 hours later. This post is backdated from June 6, 7 am EST.