The following is a sentence from the statement issued by Hong Kong's Security Bureau yesterday: "If anyone attempts to challenge the law, including the
Prohibition on Group Gathering, Public Order Ordinance, Hong Kong
National Security Law, etc., the Police will deal with it seriously in
accordance with the law. Whether or not the event involves violence is irrelevant as far as the authorities are concerned -- and should it not be clear, in the 30 years that the candlelight vigil has been held, it has uniformly been peaceful in nature.
As a friend remarked, it often feels like we are living in George Orwell's 1984 in Hong Kong circa 2020-2021. And the authorities -- behind whom the Chinese Communist Party looms -- really do appear like the party in that dystopian novel in believing the following: “‘Who controls the past... controls the future: who controls the present controls the past.’”
There is a general sense that the Chinese Communist Party has largely succeeded in making people living in Mainland China forget, not just deny, that the Tiananmen Square Massacre happened. In Louisa Lim's The People's Republic of Amnesia: Tiananmen Revisited, a Mainland Chinese man visiting Hong Kong is quoted as telling her that "the Chinese government is very good at covering things up and cheating people" (2014:84).
Incidentally, Lim had met the individual in question at the June 4th Memorial Museum, which reopened today after temporarily closing its doors because of the pandemic. Those who run the institution are among the many Hong Kongers unwilling to take part in what Lim has termed "the great forgetting" that has taken place on the other side of the Hong Kong-Mainland China border.
Something that Lim makes clear in her book is that: "The "forgetting" that has engulfed China is not just enforced from above; the people themselves have colluded in this amnesia and embraced it. Forgetting is a survival mechanism, almost second nature. China's people have learned to avert their eyes and minds from anything unpleasant, allowing their brains to be imprinted with false memories -- or allowing the real memories to be erased -- for the sake of convenience" (2014:211).
In yet another way that distinguishes from the Mainland Chinese, Hong Kongers, on the other hand, remember and are determined to never forget. 6/4. 6/12. 7/21. 8/31. Etc. Indeed, in trying so hard to make people forget and/or keep them away from Victoria Park on June 4th, they have only got people thinking more about that date and how to commemorate it!