Dozens of pro-democracy activists, scholars and political figures from North America, Europe, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Japan and other places spoke one after another in the evening of June 1.
The June 4 candlelight vigil in Victoria Park, which has been attended by more than 100,000 or even hundreds of thousands of people every year for 30 years since the June 4 incident, was not approved by the Hong Kong government last year on the grounds of epidemic prevention, but tens of thousands of people still went to attend the vigil on their own initiative. In the current political situation in Hong Kong, many pro-democracy activists have been arrested, sentenced to prison or are on the run.
Wang Dan, the leader of the Tiananmen School Movement who is in exile in the United States, issued an initiative on May 21, “We cannot let this most beautiful view of Hong Kong go out,” calling on all Hong Kong people to light a candle on the windowsill of their homes on June 4. At the same time, the “Light a Candle” global commemoration of June 4 was launched.
In the afternoon of June 1, Hong Kong’s June 4 Memorial Hall, which had been open for exhibition for only two days, was warned by Hong Kong government officials that the exhibition had not applied for a “public entertainment license” and that “enforcement proceedings were initiated against those suspected of violating the law”. The future of the memorial hall is uncertain. Wang Dan, speaking at the “Light a Candle” event on Tuesday, said that as a member of the 1989 pro-democracy movement generation, he had an unshirkable obligation to restore the truth and hoped to establish a physical June 4 memorial in the United States, and hoped that it would be completed and opened at the latest in 2024, 35 years after the June 4 incident, to preserve historical memory.
Participants and speakers at the “Light a Candle” commemoration of the 32nd anniversary of June 4 included June 4 student leaders Wang Dan, Wuer Kaixi, pro-democracy leaders Wan Runnan, Wei Jingsheng, and Wang Juntao; sinologists Lai Anyou, Lin Peirui, Hou Zhiming, Beijing Spring Honorary Editor-in-Chief Hu Ping, writer Su Xiaokang, former professor of the Party School of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China Cai Xia; former Hong Kong Democratic Party Emily Lau, former chairwoman of the Hong Kong Democratic Party, and many political figures such as Taiwan legislators Wang Dingyu and Lin Weizhou, DPP Deputy Secretary General Lin Feifan, and Cheng Chiu-hsin, deputy director of the Kuomintang’s Cultural and Communication Committee.
Many of the participants spoke about the horrible situation Hong Kong faced after Beijing imposed the ‘Hong Kong version of the National Security Law’. Emily Lau said that although Hong Kong people are now beginning to self-censor because of fears and “I don’t know how much longer I can speak”, Hong Kong people will not give up and the democracy movement will continue to go on, no matter how difficult it is.