HK’s Tiananmen Square memorial vigil yielded record donations on 30th anniversary, say organisers

06-Jun-2019 Intellasia | South China Morning Post | 6:00 AM Print This Post

The organisers of the annual vigil in Hong Kong’s Victoria Park to mourn victims of the Tiananmen Square crackdown said they received an unprecedented amount of donations to mark its 30th anniversary, following a record turnout.

The Hong Kong Alliance in Support of Patriotic Democratic Movements of China received over HK$2.7 million (US$344,356) during the June 4 vigil on Tuesday night. It was the highest in three decades, the previous best being HK$2.3 million in 2012, according to Lee Cheuk-yan, general secretary of the alliance.

The group said a highest-ever crowd of more than 180,000 people had attended, compared with last year’s 115,000. The police put this year’s figure at 37,000 at its peak.

Lee said the record-high donations were driven by the elevated turnout and people’s concern about Hong Kong’s future, especially amid public backlash over an extradition bill that would allow the city to hand over fugitives to jurisdictions with which it has no previous agreement.

“People hope to do more things for Hong Kong … They hope to hang in with us,” Lee said on a radio programme on Wednesday morning.

Lee said the same logic underpinned both the Tiananmen crackdown and the amending of the extradition bill upholding the stability of authority.

“Apart from moaning, people need to think about the current situation in Hong Kong,” he said. “We also asked people to join the rally on June 9 against the extradition bill.”

The political party the League of Social Democrats said it received HK$432,280 in donations on Tuesday, compared to HK$321,940 last year.

With regard to the police’s far more conservation estimate of 37,000 attendees at the peak of the vigil, Lee said he would not comment on how the force came up with the turnover.

But he noted that the attendance at the 25th anniversary vigil in 2014 was also about 180,000, and the police estimate at the time was much higher, almost 100,000.

Lee said he also noticed more young people attending with different ways of memorialising the historic event. “Youngsters don’t necessarily need to identity with the alliance’s position,” he said. “But they should keep this memory.”

He expressed gratitude to Hong Kong teachers who have passed down this memory to their students and hoped more young people and tourists from the mainland would be able to visit the June 4 museum in Mong Kok.

The alliance has organised the annual vigil in Hong Kong since 1990, demanding Beijing come clean on the facts and vindicate the student-led protest movement.

Earlier on Tuesday, the city’s leader, Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor, sidestepped questions on whether she would inform Beijing of calls from Hongkongers to reverse the central government’s verdict that the crackdown had been justified.

She also said the government respected the views of the public “on a particular historic incident”.


Category: Hong Kong

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