Wed, Jun 03, 2015 - Page 3 News List

Organizers of Tiananmen event urge yellow umbrellas

Staff writer, with CNA

People who plan to attend a vigil in Taipei on Thursday to mark the 26th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square Massacre are asked to carry yellow umbrellas — a symbol of the Hong Kong prodemocracy movement — to mark the events in Beijing in 1989, organizers said yesterday.

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

A large image of Tiananmen Square is to be put up at the site of the vigil and participants are encouraged to open yellow umbrellas in front of it as a symbol of resistance against China’s suppression of human rights, freedom and democracy, said the association, which is one of the event’s organizers.

“This year, we are holding up umbrellas to echo Hong Kongers’ call [for democracy],” said Yang Sen-hong (楊憲宏), 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.

Participants are also to light candles to remember those who lost their lives in the 1989 incident.

Also at the event, support is to be expressed for political dissidents in China, including lawyer and rights activist Pu Zhiqiang (浦志強), activist Chen Yunfei (陳雲飛), writer Chen Xi (陳西) and journalist Gao Yu (高瑜), as well as for the Tiananmen Mothers, a group representing families of people killed in the massacre, Amnesty International Taiwan director Bo Tedards said.

Wang Dan (王丹), one of the student leaders in the Tiananmen protests, and Chinese writer and democracy activist Yu Jie (余杰), are to speak at the event, which will be held at National Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall, organizers said.

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

The Tiananmen Square Massacre remains a taboo subject in China.

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

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

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