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Scuffles and Arrests as Hong Kong Locks Down Tiananmen Vigil Park

Scuffles and Arrests as Hong Kong Locks Down Tiananmen Vigil Park
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Hong Kong sealed off a park where many thousands gather annually to commemorate China's 1989 Tiananmen crackdown and arrested the vigil's organizer, Friday, June 4, in what activists see as suppression of one of the city's main symbols of democratic hope.

READ MORE: For the second year in a row, authorities have banned the annual Tiananmen Square vigil in Hong Kong that usually attracts thousands of people in memory of the Chinese government's crackdown in Beijing in 1989.

Thirty-two years ago, thousands of pro-democracy protesters took to the streets in Beijing demonstrating against the Chinese government and demanding economic and political reforms. After several weeks, China's People's Liberation Army occupied the area with tanks and opened fire against the student-led demonstrators, killing an unknown number of demonstrators.

Thousands of mourners in Hong Kong have attended the annual remembrance vigil for decades, but authorities banned it last year for the first time, citing the global pandemic. The event is illegal in mainland China.

Up to 7,000 police officers were reportedly deployed Friday to handle potential gatherings, with 3,000 alone stationed at Hong Kong's Victoria Park in Causeway Bay, the usual location for the memorial. Authorities again pointed to COVID-19 and the current four-person cap on gatherings as this year's reason the vigil could not go ahead.