More than 180,000 people gathered for the peaceful commemoration, organisers said, in city’s CBD on Tuesday night.
Amongst those who addressed the crowd was Zhang Xianling, co-founder of the Tiananmen Mothers group, who lost her 19-year-old son, Wang Nan when government soldiers fired on demonstrators on June 4, thirty years ago.
Appearing with other parents by video from mainland China, Ms Zhang said the Chinese government’s “blatant disregard for human life” was a “bloody fact that can never be covered up”.
“The grief threatened to crush us but it has now transformed into our motivation to fight for justice,” she said.
“History proves that the truth will eventually defeat lies and justice will defeat evil.”
Hundreds, possibly thousands, of pro-democracy protesters died when Chinese government troops opened fire in the square in Beijing on June 4 1989, after days of student-led demonstrations calling for more democratic government.
Commonly known in mainland China as the ‘June Fourth Incident’, the final death toll is still unknown but estimates run as high as two thousand.
The 30th anniversary comes at a tense time for Hong Kong, as the territory’s Legislative Council considers a contentious extradition bill.
The proposed law would allow criminals to be sent to mainland China and has sparked fears it could be used to target critics of Beijing.
Still, Hong Kong remains the only place in China territory allowed to commemorate the brutal crackdown.
For young people, like 22-year-old Hong Konger Connie Chan, the vigil is a chance to pay tribute to massacre victims and to those who have spent the following years protecting civil rights in the territory.
“I just want to come here to feel the passion of Hong Kong people fighting for their freedom, fighting for the truth for 30 years,” she said.
“I want to witness everything.”
Want to comment?
Send us an email, making it clear which story you’re commenting on and including your full name (required for publication) and phone number (only for verification purposes). Please put “Reader views” in the subject.
We’ll publish the best comments in a regular “Reader Views” post. Your comments can be brief, or we can accept up to 350 words, or thereabouts.
InDaily has changed the way we receive comments. Go here for an explanation.
We value local independent journalism. We hope you do too.
InDaily provides valuable, local independent journalism in South Australia. As a news organisation it offers an alternative to The Advertiser, a different voice and a closer look at what is happening in our city and state for free. Any contribution to help fund our work is appreciated. Please click below to become an InDaily supporter.