Date
23 October 2017
Members of the Hong Kong Federation of Students mark the 1989 crackdown on student protests in Tiananmen Square during a vigil in Victoria Park in 2012.  Photo: HKEJ
Members of the Hong Kong Federation of Students mark the 1989 crackdown on student protests in Tiananmen Square during a vigil in Victoria Park in 2012. Photo: HKEJ

HKFS to skip June 4 vigil

The Hong Kong Federation of Students has decided not to participate in activities organized by the Hong Kong Alliance in Support of Patriotic Democratic Movements of China to commemorate the June 4 crackdown on student protests in Tiananmen Square.

Instead, it will hold its own activities to mark the event, Ming Pao Daily reported on Tuesday. 

Wang Dan, one of the most prominent leaders of the 1989 student movement, said on his Facebook page that the HKFS decision was the kind of news that the central government would love to hear.

Despite HKFS’ withdrawal, student unions at the Chinese University of Hong Kong and the Hong Kong Polytechnic University said they will continue to take part in the alliance’s events.

The Hong Kong University Students Union said an event will be held inside the campus to commemorate the Tiananmen event. Meanwhile, the student body at Shue Yan University said they are still holding discussions, although there seems no objection to joining the alliance’s annual vigil.

The HKFS stressed that although it has decided not to participate in the event under the name of the federation, it doesn’t mean that they have given up on seeking vindication for the June 4 incident.

Over the past 10 years, the group’s standing committee has made its decisions through a “consensus mechanism, which means that if there is one member who is not convinced by the other members, then we will not act in the name of the federation”, the HKFS said in a statement.

Wang Dan called for the HKFS to rethink its decision, pointing out that no political movement could hope to succeed without the concerted effort of the people.

Scholarism convenor Joshua Wong said the proposed theme of “building a democratic China” could be the reason why HKFS decided to drop out of the annual event.

The student federation should not give up on the campaign to seek justice for the victims and pursue those responsible for the massacre, Wong added.

The candlelight vigil organized by the alliance in Victoria Park has become an annual commemoration of the Tiananmen incident with the HKFS always in attendance as a founding member of the alliance.

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