June 4th, 2012
04:19 AM ET

Tiananmen: Activists mark date that can't be mentioned

It may be 23 years since Chinese soldiers gunned down unarmed protesters near Tiananmen Square but memories of that day remain raw for pro-democracy activists within and outside the country.

More than 100,000 people are expected to gather in Hong Kong's Victoria Park Monday night for a candlelight vigil to remember the lives lost when tanks rolled into the Beijing square.

The mainland government still bans public discussion of the events of June 4, 1989, when government forces intent on ending pro-democracy demonstrations opened fire on civilians.

The official Chinese government account said 241, including soldiers, died and 7,000 were wounded.

Rights campaigners say the number of dead was more likely to be in the thousands.

In a written message to be read out at the Hong Kong vigil, Chinese activist Chen Guangcheng implored the Chinese government to "follow the will of Heaven" and advance democratic reforms.

"This Democracy Movement deserves universal approval," Chen said in the statement. "We ask that its requests be treated appropriately. We do not desire revenge but we want to completely reveal the truth. We are in favor of tolerance, but against forgetfulness. People who are forgetful have no future," he said.

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Filed under: China • World
soundoff (16 Responses)
  1. Broken feelers?

    9/11 takes precedence over T-square, especially our victims families being snubbed by their own peoples.

    June 4, 2012 at 6:50 pm | Report abuse |
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