Scuffles as Hong Kong bans Tiananmen vigil
Security was tight overnight Friday in Hong Kong,as police locked down a park that hosts an annual vigil for the 1989 Tiananmen Square crackdown on pro-democracy protesters.The vigil is usually the world’s largest June 4th anniversary event.But authorities banned it for a second year in a row, citing the global health crisis.Police in the thousands patrolled the streets.Small scuffles flared in one part of the city and at least six people were arrested.Despite fears, some assembled holding lights near the cordoned-off park.One familar face was Alexandra Wong known as “Grandma Wong” who appeared with a yellow umbrella, a symbol of the protest movement.”Today is, I think, about the (sixth time) that I come to remember June 4th. Perhaps I will be arrested again, but I must come here, to remember Liu Xiaobo.”This year’s anniversary was the first under a sweeping and contentious national security law imposed by Beijing on its freest city last year.China widely censors the crackdown.The death toll given by officials days later was about 300, most of them soldiers, but rights groups and witnesses say thousands of people may have died.The June 4th vigil is widely seen as a symbol of the semi-autonomous city’s democratic dreams.”I’m both a little nervous, and also have a sense of fear. As all along, whenever someone is showing some determination, there will be other people coming out. If we all become used to the state of affairs, eventually that day will come, when things that take place in the mainland will happen in Hong Kong.”Across the city this week, an organizer of the annual vigil was arrested, and a museum to commemorate Tiananmen was shuttered.Yet some marked the anniversary in churches and held a ‘home light protest’.