On June 4th, Four-Inch Replicas of the Tiananmen Square Goddess of Democracy Statue Appeared at the Chinese University of Hong Kong

(p. 10) TAIPEI, Taiwan — For decades, a large candlelight vigil was held in Hong Kong each June 4, to commemorate those killed when Chinese soldiers crushed the Tiananmen Square protests in Beijing.

On Saturday, smaller crowds gathered in Taipei and other cities around the world — this time mourning not just the people slain 33 years ago, but also the fate of Hong Kong, where the smothering of dissent has put an end to the vigil in Victoria Park, the world’s most prominent public memorial to the victims of 1989.

“Now it’s about the two things together — Hong Kong as well as what happened on June 4,” said Francis Tse, a former Hong Kong resident who was one of about 400 people commemorating the anniversary in downtown Sydney, Australia. He and many others carried signs calling for the release of activists imprisoned in Hong Kong.

. . .

On Saturday [June 4, 2022], people who joined commemorations in Taipei, Sydney and London said they had also come to denounce the erasure of political freedoms in Hong Kong, as well as China’s draconian policies in two other regions, Xinjiang and Tibet.

“Now Hong Kong can no longer tell the truth and the real history, we must pass on this history even more in Taiwan,” said Henry Tong, a 41-year-old from Hong Kong who moved to Taiwan last year and attended this year’s vigil in Taipei. “Because of Hong Kong’s prohibition and suppression, it has blossomed everywhere.”

. . .

Over the past year, universities in Hong Kong have removed prominent Tiananmen memorials. In December, the University of Hong Kong took down the “Pillar of Shame,” a 26-foot statue by the Danish artist Jens Galschiot. A depiction of writhing corpses signifying those killed in 1989, it had been at the campus since the late 1990s, becoming a symbol of defiance against the Chinese authorities.

Since its removal, Prague and other cities have hosted replicas of the statue, and a smaller version was unveiled in Taipei on Saturday.

Another statue — modeled after the “Goddess of Democracy” erected by students in Tiananmen Square in 1989 — was removed from the Chinese University of Hong Kong campus late last year. In recent days, anonymous activists, determined to commemorate June 4 however they can, have left four-inch replicas of it around the campus.

For the full story see:

John Liu, Chris Buckley, Austin Ramzy, and Isabella Kwai. “Mourning Tiananmen’s Victims, and the Hong Kong That Was In Taipei [sic].” The New York Times, First Section (Sunday, June 5, 2022): 10.

(Note: ellipses, and bracketed date, added.)

(Note: the online version of the story was updated June 30 [sic], 2022, and has the title “Mourning Tiananmen’s Victims, and the Hong Kong That Was.” The online version says that the print version has the title “In Taipei, Mourning Tiananmen’s Victims, and the Hong Kong That Was”, but my National print version has the title “Mourning Tiananmen’s Victims, and the Hong Kong That Was in Taipai [sic].”)

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