Yel­low um­brel­las in Tai­wan to re­mem­ber Tianan­men massacre

The China Post - - LOCAL -

Peo­ple who at­tend a vigil on the 26th an­niver­sary of the Tianan­men Square massacre in Taipei on Thurs­day will hold yel­low um­brel­las — a sym­bol of the Hong Kong pro-democ­racy move­ment — to re­mem­ber the tragedy that took place in Bei­jing in 1989, or­ga­niz­ers said Tues­day.

Two-hun­dred yel­low um­brel­las will be dis­trib­uted to par­tic­i­pants, who are also en­cour­aged to bring their own um­brel­las to the an­nual event, said Hsu Yu-ling, a mem­ber of event co-or­ga­nizer the As­so­ci­a­tion of Tai­wanese Stu­dents for the De­moc­ra­ti­za­tion of China.

A large im­age show­ing Bei­jing’s Tianan­men Square will be erected at the site of the vigil and par­tic­i­pants will be en­cour­aged to open their yel­low um­brel­las in front of it as a sym­bol of re­sis­tance against China’s sup­pres­sion of hu­man rights, free­dom and democ­racy, or­ga­niz­ers said.

“This year we are hold­ing up um­brel­las to echo Hong Kong peo­ple’s call (for democ­racy),” said Yang Hsien-hung, head of the Tai­wan As­so­ci­a­tion for China Hu­man Rights, an­other of the or­ga­niz­ers.

“Each year, the vigil not only com­mem­o­rates the massacre, but serves as a re­minder that the same vi­cious­ness is still tak­ing place ev­ery day.

“We com­mem­o­rate the Tianan­men In­ci­dent not only for the past, but also for the fu­ture,” he said.

In ad­di­tion to hold­ing up um­brel­las, par­tic­i­pants in the Taipei vigil will light can­dles to re­mem­ber those who lost their lives in the 1989 massacre.

The event will also voice sup­port for po­lit­i­cal dis­si­dents in China, in­clud­ing Chi­nese civil rights lawyer Pu Zhiqiang, ac­tivist Chen Yun­fei (? ?, writer Chen Xi and jour­nal­ist Gao Yu, as well as for the Tianan­men Moth­ers, a group rep­re­sent­ing fam­i­lies of the vic­tims, Amnesty In­ter­na­tional Tai­wan Direc­tor Bo Tedards said.

Wang Dan, one of the stu­dent lead­ers in the Tianan­men Square protests, and Chi­nese writer and democ­racy ac­tivist Yu Jie, will speak at the event, which will be held at the Na­tional Chi­ang Kaishek Me­mo­rial Hall, or­ga­niz­ers said.

The event will con­clude with ev­ery­one singing “We Shall Over­come,” a protest song that be­came the unof­fi­cial an­them of the African-Amer­i­can civil rights move­ment.

The Tianan­men Massacre re­mains a taboo sub­ject in China.

Af­ter weeks of pro-democ­racy protests in 1989, Chi­nese troops and tanks fired on civil­ians in Bei­jing’s Tianan­men Square on June 4. Es­ti­mates of the death toll range from sev­eral hun­dred to thou­sands.

Over 1,000 joined a can­dle­light vigil in Taipei last year to mark the 25th an­niver­sary of the massacre.

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