On 4 June 1989, tanks and troops marched into Tiananmen Square, crushing the ideals of an entire generation in their pursuit of democracy with violence and bloody repression.
The dark forces, which trampled on the people 32 years ago, have now enveloped the whole of Hong Kong. Since the implementation of the National Security Law in July last year, human rights and freedoms in Hong Kong have been consistently deteriorating, with protesters being arrested and imprisoned, freedom of speech and thought being banned, and the right to assembly and procession being brutally deprived.
Recently, the regime are becoming even more aggressive. The Police threatened to ban the Civil Human Rights Front with the Societies Ordinance, while the Labour Department announced to intensify control over trade unions with the Trade Unions Ordinance. It is predictable that the regime is launching the next wave of attacks towards autonomous groups and organisations in civil society.
During the 1989 pro-democracy movement, students and workers took to the streets to demand the implementation of the constitutional freedoms of the press, speech and association, and the protection of people’s rights to assembly and procession. Without democracy, there is no check and balance on political power, and thus no protection for people’s freedom. Thirty-two years on, Hong Kong is facing the same fate of oppression : a serious setback in parliamentary democracy, and even as the freedoms and rights it used to enjoy are threatened unprecedentedly.
Despite the tyranny, the ruggedness of the road ahead and the darkness of the night, we choose to be faithful in the future. We believe that the future is not determined by the regime ; instead there is hope by the struggle of the people. From the campaign against Article 23 legislation in 2003, the Umbrella Movement for universal suffrage in 2014, and the anti-Extradition bill movement to defend freedom in 2019, every struggle we went through has lived the beliefs and ideals of the 1989 pro-democracy movement. The memory of 1989 has become a source of strength in our struggle against totalitarianism and a moral inspiration for different generations to join the democratic movement.
Every year, tens of thousands of candles in the Victoria Park light up the night and ignite hope, making the blurred lines clear and distinct between righteousness and evil, freedom and dictatorship, democracy and totalitarianism. These are the scars of history, but out of them comes the strength. It is a history of the past that perpetuates the resistance of the present. On June 4 this year, we remain commemorating the 4 June incident, continue to pass on our unyielding faith by the light of our candles, and extend the unbroken path of democratic resistance from 1989 to the present.
Preserve the memory ! Continue the struggle !