Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Hong Kong remembers, because China cannot

Without fail, more than 100,000 of Hong Kongers held a candlelight vigil for the hundreds reportedly killed by their own military in the Tiananmen Square crackdown of June 4, 1989 -- doing what nobody is allowed to do on the other side of the border.

This year's 6/4 news veered from the ridiculous (like online censors going into overdrive to ban the Giant Rubber Ducky) to the ominous (the fact that the death of one of the masterminds of the crackdown was announced on the same day as the anniversary.)

The best blogger coverage I'd seen was from Hong Wrong, who took has great photos, like the one on the very top.

The best mainstream media coverage has been from the South China Morning Post, which dedicated a special page to the memorial with about a dozen stories, plus lots of photos, updates and commentary. The New York Times story, which includes quotes with mainland visitors at the memorial, is here.

After all these years, I don't know what to say, except that an entire generation has gone by -- children have been born, raised and become adults since 1989 -- and Beijing still won't let people talk about it or memorialize it, regardless of what their viewpoints or opinions are.

And while we all have our Hong Kong gripes, at least once a year, we are reminded that this is a city with a long memory and a big heart.

1 comment:

  1. It`s been a few days now and already I`ve noticed the "locust" feeling appearing in the media. Empathy doesn`t last long now.

    I remember going to one of the "fairs" in Victoria Park a few years ago. The place was packed with mostly young people (probably the same holding the candles on the photos). They we loving it buying squid ink sausages and plastic blow up iPhones. The only place where anybody could find a bit of quietness was the 4/6 stall - deserted.

    If the mainland people openly knew about the civil breakdown, all the people, police and soldiers that were killed would they really care as much as the "west" does.

    Anyway, how are you "Joycey" doing ?