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Candle vigil remembers June 4th massacre, protests nearby event

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Macau staged its annual candle vigil last night to commemorate the 1989 Tiananmen Square crackdown and to speak out against the repression that cost the lives of many mainland Chinese students and workers. In addition to Beijing’s suppression of the students’ democratic movement, the participants also protested against the General Association of Chinese Students of Macau for staging a festive performance and celebration for children three days after Children’s Day.
Hundreds of citizens participated despite rain at Senado Square in the city center. A minute of silence was observed by them at the beginning of the candlelight vigil held to pray for the people who died in the 1989 democratic movement.
Gathering around the white candles representing the spirit of the sacrificed, participants of all ages watched documentary recordings of the deadly event 24 years ago.
The organizer, the Joint Committee on the Development of Democracy in Macau, said despite the economic progress in China, political conditions are becoming democraticaly unfriendly. This has manifested in government corruption and state monopoly of social and economic resources.
Participating in the annual event, as private citizens, lawmakers Ng Kuok Cheong and Au Kam San, who have been organizing and taking part in the annual event since 1989, said that in the mainland the budget for maintaining social stability has already surpassed the national defense budget, an evidence that the suppression of opposition voices has  reached a critical point.
Many participants brought their children to the site to teach them about the June 4th massacre and the sacrifice mainland students and workers made. Participants were invited to share their views and personal experiences in the fatal movement in Beijing 24 years ago.
In addition to an annual narration of the historical context of the protest and crackdown, the organizer reiterated that the vigil was for vindication of the June 4th movement that is still regarded by Beijing as an anti-government incident.
But this year, the organizer also had a separate issue to protest, a dance performance with loud background music. The festive event organized by General Association of Chinese Students of Macau was intended for children three days after Children’s Day. Macau Youth Dynamics is handing a petition letter today to the Association in protest of the event, that was also staged last year and at the same time. Protesters accused the organizer of trying to use the party to overshadow the candle vigil.

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