Hong Kong braces for big crowds and high emotions as June 4 vigil for Tiananmen crackdown coincides with anger over extradition proposal

Hong Kong is bracing for a momentous June 4 commemoration, with as many as 180,000 people expected for a candlelight vigil, calls for student localists to return to the rallies, and a new Tiananmen movement museum flooded with visitors.

Organisers expected a large turnout for two reasons – past and present: the 30th anniversary of Beijing’s military crackdown on student protesters in Tiananmen Square and the current controversy over a proposed bill that would allow Hong Kong to hand over fugitives to mainland China and other jurisdictions with which it has no extradition deal.

“We expect the turnout to match our historical peak levels,” said Lee Cheuk-yan, secretary for the Hong Kong Alliance in Support of Patriotic Democratic Movements of China, the group that has organised the annual vigil in Hong Kong since 1990.

According to the alliance, the largest turnouts came in 2012 and 2014, when at least 180,000 people gathered to mourn the victims of Tiananmen and call for democracy in mainland China.
 

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