Thousands poured into Victoria Park in Hong Kong June 4 in an annual event to honor those who gave their lives fighting for political rights in 1989 in Beijing’s Tiananmen Square. They cast aside metal barriers set up by the cops, defying a ban on the commemoration by the city’s pro-Beijing government.
Cops looked on as the 10,000-strong rally went off without interference, while others held vigils elsewhere across the city. Protesters chanted, “Fight for freedom! Stand with Hong Kong!” and “Hong Kong independence! The only way out!”
“We fight for the same things as they did [in Tiananmen Square] 31 years ago,” 24-year-old Hammond Tong told the Washington Post. “We must not forget, nor can we stop fighting.”
“The local and Chinese governments have ignored us,” construction worker Daniel Au told the Wall Street Journal.
For over a year hundreds of thousands of working people have repeatedly mobilized in the streets of the city to fight a growing raft of restrictions on their rights and to demand more control over the local government.
The Chinese rulers have continued to tighten their grip on the city, most recently bypassing the Hong Kong legislature to impose new repressive “national security” measures. They are determined to deal blows to the movement for political rights in Hong Kong and to minimize its effect on millions of workers and farmers in China itself.