HONG KONG — Thousands of people marched through downtown Hong Kong on Sunday to remember the bloody crackdown on the Tiananmen Square protests in Beijing, days before the 25th anniversary of the tumultuous event.
The demonstrators marched from a large park to Hong Kong government headquarters, while a separate group continued on to the Chinese central government’s liaison office.
They renewed their long-standing demand for China’s Communist Party to overturn its official verdict that the protests that ended in bloodshed on the night of June 4, 1989, were a “counterrevolutionary riot.”
One protester dressed up in a tank costume to evoke the memory of “Tank Man,” the unnamed man who was famously photographed standing up to a line of tanks.
Twenty-five years later, Beijing still has not given an official account of the crackdown on the protests, which killed hundreds of people, if not more. The topic remains taboo in mainland China.
Police said up to 1,900 people took part in Sunday’s march, according to broadcaster RTHK. Organizers said 3,000 people participated.
The protest march was a prelude to an annual candlelight vigil that will be held Wednesday to remember the victims. Attendance at the vigil, which usually attracts tens of thousands of people, is expected to be higher than usual because it’s the 25th anniversary.
Beijing regained control of Hong Kong from Britain in 1997, but the city was allowed to retain a high degree of autonomy and Western-style civil liberties unseen on the mainland, including freedom of speech.