From Tiananmen Square to Victoria Park: The Long Arm of Beijing

Press Release 新聞稿

The Toronto Association for Democracy in China (TADC) strongly condemns the removal of a Tiananmen memorial by Hong Kong University.


The Pillar of Shame by Danish sculptor Jens Galschiot, which stood on campus since 1997, was a symbol of Hong Kong’s autonomy from mainland China, where all mentioned of Tiananmen massacre on June 4, 1989 is banned—and scrubbed from the Internet.

“First they banned the annual commemoration in Victoria Park, then they arrested and imprisoned activists who fought to preserve the memory; now they are removing the final remembrance of the massacre,” said Liane Lee, an eyewitness to the massacre and the association’s vice-chair.

The eight-metre sculpture, depicting writhing, grimacing Tiananmen protesters, is estimated to be $1.7 million. It was removed from the campus in the early hours of Thursday morning over the objection from students and artists, as well as civil-society groups from around the world.

“The university has bowed to political pressure from Beijing,” said spokesperson Cheuk Kwan. “Hong Kong has been completely absorbed into a nation of amnesia where historical narrative is constantly being re-written and the collective memory of Tiananmen massacre is being wiped out.”

Following the passing of the National Security Law in July 2020, the ferocity that the Beijing-controlled Hong Kong crackdown of the pro-democracy movement and reign-in of political dissent is highly alarming.  The 2021 Legislative Council election held just several days ago was a farce where only “patriotic” candidates were allowed to run.

TADC calls on the Canadian government and the international community to stand up to the repression and oppression of the Chinese government’s tactics in silencing and erasing the history.  It is an erasure of a history that the current authoritarian regime has steadfastly refused to acknowledge.

The Toronto Association for Democracy in China (TADC) strongly condemns the removal of a Tiananmen memorial by Hong Kong University.

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