Around 30 people took part in a “Never Forget June 4th” long-distance running event held by the Hong Kong Alliance in Support of Patriotic Democratic Movements in China on Sunday. The event marked 27-years since the movement began fighting for the vindication of the 1989 Tiananmen Massacre – an incident the central government has yet to take acknowledge or take responsibility for.
The runners set off at around 9am from City University of Hong Kong and ran to Tsim Sha Tsui before taking the Star Ferry over to Central. The run ended at the Chinese Liaison Office in Sai Wan, where they laid wreaths before the People’s Heroes Monument.
The route was designed to pass through street and roads named after capital cities in China, as well as districts which were occupied during the pro-democracy Occupy protests in 2014, the organisers said in a press release.
Hong Kong Alliance secretary and Labour Party lawmaker Lee Cheuk-yan said that the whole course of the run is 27km long to signify that 27 years have passed since the Tiananmen Massacre, RTHK reported. “As you know, what’s most important with long-distance running is the [spirit of] perseverance and determination… and it represents that spirit we possess when we fight for the vindication of June Fourth and the building of a democratic China.”
“We hope that one day, we can run to the Tiananmen Square and erect the Goddess of Democracy statue there,” Lee said.
Lee also said that they hoped to raise HK$3 million at the annual June 4th candlelight vigil this year to move the Tiananmen commemoration museum to a bigger venue of around 1,400 to 1,500 square feet. Such a venue would allow space discussion areas and more exhibition items.
The current museum, the first in the world to be dedicated to the event, is set to close by the end of the year amid legal battles. It is run by the Hong Kong Alliance, which also organises the city’s Victoria Park vigil.
The Tiananmen events of 1989, also known as the June Fourth Incident, occurred at the end of student-led protests triggered by the death of former Communist Party General Secretary Hu Yaobang, who had been purged due to his liberal, reform-minded political stance.
The demonstrations were suppressed when the government sent troops and tanks into the city, killing and injuring many of the protesters. The Chinese government has yet to recognise or apologise for the incident and terms relating to the event are heavily censored on the internet.