Hong Kong event commemorating the 1989 Tiananmen crackdown, 2005 (by laihiu / Lai Ryanne via Wikimedia Commons)

After the Hong Kong government banned the annual commemoration of the 1989 Tiananmen crackdown, Hong Kongers have found new and creative ways to voice their support for human rights and remember the pro-democracy student movement that was violently put down by the Chinese armed forces 32 years ago.

Hong Kong held vigils in Victoria Park commemorating the 1989 Tiananmen Square crackdown (also referred to as June 4) every year from 1990 until 2020, when the event was banned for the first time.

The ban came after the Chinese Communist regime in Beijing passed a National Security Law that restricts the freedoms and civil liberties which Hong Kong enjoyed under the system established under British rule. The Hong Kong authorities have since launched a sweeping crackdown on free speech and political activism.

Read also: The Rise and Decline of Hong Kong – From the British Colonial Era to the Chinese Communist Takeover

The Hong Kong government reportedly deployed 7,000 police to enforce the ban. Police officers were dispatched to Victoria Park to stop people from entering, but they also patrolled areas surrounding the Park and “sensitive” spots throughout the city.

But as Hong Kong has still not reached the levels of suppression of free speech and of surveillance in place in mainland China, Hong Kongers have found ways to commemorate June 4.

The banner says “Fight for memory”

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