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Hong Kong police warn against unauthorized gatherings ahead of Tiananmen anniversary

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Hong Kong police warn against unauthorized gatherings ahead of Tiananmen anniversary
Chinese police, undercover police and soldiers guard the north gate of Tiananmen Square adorned with a giant portrait of former helmsman Mao Zedong in Beijing on June 6, 2020. File Photo by Stephen Shaver/UPI | License Photo

June 3 (UPI) -- Hong Kong police appear ready to enforce a ban on gatherings marking the Saturday anniversary of the 1989 Tiananmen Square uprising and violent Chinese government suppression of that protest.

In a Thursday press briefing in Wan Chai, China, police said online posts seem to incite other people to participate in an unauthorized gathering marking Tiananmen's anniversary in Causeway Bay on Saturday, Hong Kong Free Press reported.

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"If you are staying together with a group of people, at the same place, at the same time, with a common purpose, to express certain views, it is already meeting the definition of a meeting. And depending on the number of persons at the scene, that may contravene offenses including unauthorized assembly or due to the acts, may also contravene other more serious offenses," Police spokesman Senior Superintendent Liauw Ka-kei said.

Last year, Hong Kong barred residents from attending a candlelight vigil in remembrance of the people killed for protesting in Tiananmen Square.

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In December 2021, a monument mourning those killed in the Tiananmen massacre was removed overnight by the University of Hong Kong.

Civilian protesters confronted Chinese Army tanks in Beijing's Tiananmen Square in a 1989 pro-democracy protest.

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Hundreds of thousands of people defied martial law and poured into Tiananmen Square after an overnight assault meant to break up that protest failed. Troops attacked the protest again and broke it up.

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Troops backed by tanks and armored cars fought pitched battles with thousands of pro-democracy civilians in what became a citywide insurrection, leaving 176 people dead and 464 injured, according to witnesses and hospital officials at the time.

New Chinese history textbooks downplay the Tiananmen history, "compressing details of the Tiananmen Square crackdown" with no mention of commemorative vigils, according to the South China Morning Post.

The Chinese security state has intensified efforts to prevent dissent before it can take root, according to the Washington Post.

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