A photograph of the Tank Man is displayed at the June 4th Museum in Hong Kong the day before the 26th anniversary of the military crackdown on the pro-democracy movement at Beijing’s Tiananmen Square. Residents were expected to gather in Victoria Park to mark the military’s brutal crushing of pro-democracy protests in central Beijing in 1989. Hundreds – by some estimates more than a thousand – died after the Communist party sent tanks to crush demonstrations in the square at the heart of Beijing, where student-led protesters had staged a peaceful seven-week sit-in to demand democratic reforms. Hong Kong University’s student union, which has taken part in all previous 4 June vigils and took a leading role in last year’s demonstrations, said it wants to “provide an alternative” on its campus this year, with 1,000 expected.
- The anniversary also comes after huge pro-democracy protests that paralysed parts of the city for months last year.
- The Hong Kong Federation of Students also said it would not participate in the main event as an organisation because members could not reach a consensus on whether to attend.
- The split will be reflected Thursday, with pro-Beijing groups – who support the Hong Kong government’s election package – planning their own gatherings.