Victoria Park has never been so empty on a June 4th evening. Because since the events of spring 1989 in Beijing, which the Hong Kongers had followed very closely and that a certain number had even gone to support on the spot, it is there, 2000 kilometers from the Chinese capital, on this immense green esplanade turf of sports fields juxtaposed to each other, that year after year, the dead of Tiananmen, known and unknown, have been honored, according to images, testimonies, speeches, thousands of small flames and songs .
” It’s strange. We just came to see… But it is not because the park is empty that our hearts have forgotten ”, says a woman who came with her son, a young engineer, visibly reluctant to testify. “For the moment, we are at an impasse but we keep in mind ‘Be water’ [« Soyez comme l’eau », le mode d’action des manifestants de 2019 inspiré de Bruce Lee] and we keep hope “, adds the son.
To guard this depopulated park, hundreds of police officers, liaison officers, plainclothes observers, and health service employees wearing small loudspeakers on their belts who deliver instructions for “Together, fight the virus”. A total of 7,000 police were deployed across the territory on Friday evening, almost a fifth of the entire force.
“Conspiracy to subversion”
Not far from the park, just in front of an exit from the Causeway Bay metro, a stand offers passers-by to send messages to Hong Kong political prisoners, in particular the “47” accused of “conspiracy to subversion” under the news. National security law imposed by Beijing last year, for organizing or participating in simple primary elections in July 2020. The names of the 100 most famous prisoners are listed.
“People can choose who to send their message to. The aim is to show those who are in prison that they are not forgotten outside, and also to remind those who are still free that some are paying dearly for the fight they led for all of us ”, explains a volunteer. The pro-democracy camp, which, in its plurality of generations and tendencies (from moderates to radical separatists), forms the political opposition of the special administrative region of China, has been literally wiped out by a series of government lawsuits launched since a year. To the point that today, 95% of elected officials and representatives of the opposition are in prison, a large number as a preventive measure.
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