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Victims of Tiananmen Square massacre to be remembered at vigil in Chinatown on June 3

D.J. Eaton
The vigil at Portsmouth Square is scheduled to start at 7:00 p.m.Photo byBBC CreativeonUnsplash

The victims of the June 4, 1989 Tiananmen Square massacre will be remembered at a vigil in San Francisco's Portsmouth Square on June 3 at 7:00 p.m. The event is being organized by Humanitarian China, NorCal HK Club and the Outstanding Contribution Prize for Democracy of China.

The Beijing pro-democracy protests of 1989, the bloody crackdown and its aftermath were covered by the husband-and-wife team of Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn for The New York Times. Their work was recognized with the 1990 Pulitzer Prize for International Reporting. Their coverage of the massacre can be found at the Pulitzer website.

Portsmouth Square in Chinatown is home to a replica of the Goddess of Democracy statue erected in Tiananmen Square during the protests. A vigil was held at the site in 2022.

A leader of the pro-democracy demonstrations, Wang Dan recalled his experiences in a June 1, 2019 op-ed in The New York Times. " Many of us had pinned our hopes on the liberal factions of the Communist Party leadership to initiate changes from within the system, but we underestimated the power of the party elders. The massacre shattered our illusions, helping us see the brutality of China’s one-party rule," he wrote.

He has moved to the United States and set up a think tank, Dialogue China. In May, he began a podcast called Freedom-Loving World. He has also announced plans for a June 4th Memorial Museum.

Mothers of victims of the massacre have called on China's political leadership to accept blame for the bloodshed.

On June 2, the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation will hold a candletight vigil in Washington, D.C. in memory of the massacre.

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