Tiananmen square vigil hong kong protest
A previous year's Tiananmen Square vigil in Hong Kong (Image: David Yan)

In Hong Kong last night, for the first time in 30 years, people were denied permission for the annual candlelight vigil that has, in many ways been a lonely beacon of hope for democracy in China. There is a good chance we may not see it again.

The vigil is held on June 4 each year to commemorate the massacre that began on the evening of June 3, 1989 and carried on through the night in and around Tiananmen Square, the very epicentre of the ruling Communist Party’s power in Beijing.

The massacre saw the People’s Liberation Army cut down an unknown number of people. Credible estimates put it higher than 10,000 people, both regular citizens and protesters, military targets occupying the square.