London, United Kingdom:
Marking the 33rd anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre, thousands of people joined the London rallies on June 4. ‘The Unite for Demicracy’ rally started off in Whitehall, opposite 10 Downing Street, the official residence of the British Prime Minister from 4 pm and ended at 5:30 pm, reported Global Alliance for Tibet and Persecuted Minorities.
Following this, another rally kicked off in Piccadilly Circus where hundreds joined in to mark the poignant chapter in the history of the democracy movement in China.
Meanwhile, outside the Chinese Embassy, a vigil rally was held where thousands of protesters joined the rally. It was first started by Dr Stephen Ng and his colleagues soon after the Tiananmen Square Massacre. This year’s vigil rally saw the biggest turnout ever since it was started 33 years ago, reported Global Alliance for Tibet and Persecuted Minorities.
Upon this rally, two young international journalists from Cardiff University made a documentary where they shot the rally and said that these protests demand the same thing as they did 33 years ago which is democracy and accountability.
The documentary also noted that these rallies throw light on the atrocities against the Uyghur community and Tibetan people. It also states that the Hong Kong people were deprived of their basic rights.
In the video, Tsering Passang, who has been advocating for the rise of Tibetans in the Chinese world said, “Back in 1989, some liberal-minded Chinese people tried to reform so that people can have more freedom and democracy but unfortunately, the hardliners really crushed down on young students subsequently the regime sent tanks and troops to crush them and thousands of Chinese students ad young people died.”
He further said that China invaded Tibet in the 1950s and so “We know the pain what our Chinese friends are experiencing whether they are main in China or in Hong Kong elsewhere. So it is our duty to show our moral obligation and our moral responsibility and support and sovereignty to our Chinese friends.”
Notably, the Tiananmen Massacre took place after the peaceful gatherings of students, workers, and others in Beijing’s Tiananmen Square and other Chinese cities in April 1989, calling for freedom of expression, accountability, and an end to corruption. The government responded to the intensifying protests in late May 1989 by declaring martial law.
On June 3 and 4, the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) soldiers fired upon and killed untold numbers of peaceful protesters and bystanders. In Beijing, some citizens attacked army convoys and burned vehicles in response to the military’s violence.
In that massacre, 10 to 15 thousand people were killed by the army of the Chinese government.
Following the killings, the government carried out a nationwide crackdown and arrested thousands of people on “counter-revolution” and other criminal charges, including arson and disrupting social order.
The government has never accepted responsibility for the massacre or held any officials legally accountable for the killings.
Chinese authorities, over the last year, have increased the harassment and persecution of activists for commemorating June 4, 1989, Tiananmen Massacre, Human Rights Watch (HRW) said. The Chinese government should acknowledge and take responsibility for the mass killing of pro-democracy demonstrators, it added.