Four university student unions used Thursday’s memorial for Tiananmen victims to denounce China for suppressing democracy in Hong Kong.
They burned copies of the Basic Law, Hong Kong’s mini constitution, and urged people to continue the fight for freedom and democracy, Apple Daily reported Friday.
The students were from the Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong Shue Yan University and City University of Hong Kong.
Student union representatives from the four schools gave speeches in which they demanded changes to the Basic Law, saying its interpretation should be up to Hong Kong people, not the Chinese parliament.
Tjhan Hillary, external vice president of the Shue Yan University student union, said Hong Kong people face a situation similar to that of the Beijing students in 1989 when they were stripped of their basic rights.
Hong Kong Polytechnic’s Wong Yuen-ling said democracy in Hong Kong has been eaten away by the Basic Law.
Twenty-six years ago, students in Beijing would not have accepted anything similar to a Beijing-backed political reform proposal that is being forced on Hong Kong people, Wong said.
Other students spoke out to honor the Tiananmen victims, although some of them said they disagreed with the vigil’s organizers in their efforts to “build a democratic China”.
One of them was a student from Hong Kong Baptist university, surnamed Tam.
Tam said he set aside his differences with the organizers, saying these were overshadowed by the significance of the commemoration.
“We wanted to show to China that people made an effort to show up,” he said.
A secondary student from Holy Trinity College, surnamed Ho, said the memorial is a reminder that a tragedy happened on June 4 in Beijing.
An undergraduate student from the University of Hong Kong, surnamed Law, said he came to pay his respects to the June 4 victims and to honor the spirit of freedom and democracy they stood for.
Law said his participation in last year’s street protests strengthened his resolve to support democratic student movements.
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