As Hongkongers prepare to commemorate the victims of Beijing’s June 4, 1989 Tiananmen Square massacre with an annual candlelight vigil, there will be additional option this year for people who may want to skip the main event.
Activists Michael Mo Kwan-tai and Danny Chan Tsz-chun are organizing a gathering at the Hong Kong Cultural Centre (HKCC) Piazza in Tsim Sha Tsui to draw in those who have reservations about attending the Victoria Park vigil.
Mo said the reason he wants to hold a separate event is to offer citizens another venue to commemorate June 4 if they disagree with a key campaign premise of the group that is behind the traditional candlelight protest.
He was referring to the idea of “building a democratic China”, the theme promoted by The Hong Kong Alliance in Support of Patriotic Democratic Movements in China, which organizes the Victoria Park annual event.
As Alliance prepares for the vigil in the park in Causeway Bay, continuing a long-established tradition, on the 29th anniversary of Tiananmen crackdown, Mo intends to provide another option for people to express their feelings, the Hong Kong Economic Journal reports.
Mo, however, admitted that his application for using the piazza was not approved by the Leisure and Cultural Services Department (LCSD), and that the police only issued a letter of no objection for an event in an area near Park Lane shopping boulevard in Tsim Sha Tsui.
In response to an inquiry, the LCSD said any group that applies to book the HKCC piazza must submit, according to the established rules, copy of a Certificate of Registration of a Society under the Societies Ordinance.
The HKCC on May 2 received an application from Mo, but authorities found that he had failed to attach the required certificate along with the proposal.
According to the LCSD, it had requested the activist to submit the required papers but did not receive any reply from him, and hence the application could not be processed.
Police have suggested that the organizers find another place to host their event, but Mo vowed that it will be held at the pre-determined venue.
There will be no slogan chanting at the gathering, but only activities such as observing silence, reading some poems of Liu Xia — who is the widow of dissident Chinese Nobel laureate Liu Xiaobo — and presenting flowers and lighting candles, the activist said.
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