Tens of thousands turned out yesterday in Hong Kong to call for human rights in China and commemorate the June 4, 1989 crackdown in Tiananmen Square, the Wall Street Journal reports. Organizers say 150,000 attended the gathering, while local media reports cite police figures—which are generally lower than crowd estimates—of 77,000. Attendees held candles and sang songs, as some called for the release of detained artist Ai Weiwei and dissident Liu Xiaobo.
While Hong Kong, which has its own laws, has commemorated June 4 every year since the Tiananmen crackdown, such gatherings are not allowed on the mainland. An organizer says this year’s event comes during the “darkest” time for human rights in China in more than two decades. Some T-shirt vendors sold shirts referring to the Jasmine Revolution, an allusion to the protests in Tunisia calling for political reform. (Read more Jasmine Revolution stories.)