• The Financial District


Many people in Hong Kong plan to commemorate the bloody June 4, 1989 crackdown by Chinese troops in and around Tiananmen Square in Beijing by lighting candles across the city on Thursday, June 4, 2020, circumventing a ban on the usual public gathering amid the coronavirus pandemic, Marius Zaharia and Ben Blanchard wrote for Reuters.

Police have rejected the grant of a permit for the candlelight vigil on the 31st anniversary of the crackdown of pro-democracy protests at Beijing's Tiananmen Square in 1989, citing public health grounds because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The anniversary strikes an especially sensitive nerve in the semi-autonomous city this year after Beijing’s move last month to impose national security legislation in Hong Kong, which critics fear will crush freedoms in the financial hub.

It also comes as Chinese media and some Beijing officials have voiced support for protests against police brutality across the United States. The Tiananmen crackdown is not officially commemorated in mainland China, where the topic is taboo and any discussion heavily censored. In Hong Kong, an annual candlelight vigil that has been held in the city’s Victoria Park for three decades usually draws tens of thousands of people. But police said this week a mass gathering would pose a threat to public health just as the city reported its first locally transmitted coronavirus cases in weeks.

This prompted vigil organisers to call on residents to light candles across the city instead at 8:00 p.m. local time (1200 GMT) and hold a minute of silence shortly after. Anyone fearing arrest for public action was encouraged to mark the day on social media using the hashtag #6431truth, referencing the 31th anniversary along with the date. #HongKong