One reason for the declining attendance is that many student organizations are unwilling to join the vigil, arguing that the event should focus on democracy in Hong Kong, rather than mainland China.
But not all students agree.
“They are letting the events that happened in Tiananmen fade,” said Wong Nga-man, a student at Hong Kong Baptist University. “I want to show that there are still young people like myself who believe in the values of the vigil, for the Tiananmen crackdown and democracy.”
Organizers of this year’s event have seized on the death the Nobel Peace Prize laureate Liu Xiaobo, prominently displaying a bust of him in the city’s Times Square and bringing it to Monday night’s vigil. Democracy activists have been calling for the release of his widow, Liu Xia, who is under house arrest.
At a second, smaller and unsanctioned vigil, one speaker called for the international community to investigate the deaths in Tiananmen.
Michael Mo Kwan-tai, the speaker, called for “the International Criminal Court to investigate suspicions of crimes against humanity.”