Demonstrators plan vigil at Vancouver Chinese Consulate for Tiananmen memorial
A shopper stands in front of a mock tank made by university students, imitating those used during the military crackdown on the pro-democracy movement at Beijing's Tiananmen Square in 1989, during an exhibition on the movement at Hong Kong's Causeway Bay shopping district June 3, 2014. Wednesday marks the 25th anniversary of the crackdown. (REUTERS)
Organizers of a memorial service for people killed during the Tiananmen Square massacre in Beijing say they are expecting up to 1,000 people outside the Chinese Consulate General in Vancouver Wednesday night.
The group said the event will start at Granville and 6th Avenue with a "democracy walk" to the consulate, followed by a candlelight vigil to mark the 25th anniversary of the June 4, 1989 crackdown by the Beijing government on protesting students.
An estimated 3,000 people are thought to have been killed by the military on orders from the Chinese government after six weeks of occupation of the square by students demanding reform of the political system.
Henry Chau of the Vancouver Society in Support of Democratic Movement helped organize Wednesday's event, and said that along with the memorial the event is about awareness of the massacre.
"In the last 25 years the Chinese government has tried every effort to erase this memory from the Chinese people's mind," said Chau.
"We feel it is our obligation to tell the truth, not only to the world, but particularly to the newcomers to Canada from China."
He said there are likely some survivors of the June 4 massacre in Vancouver, but they would probably keep a low profile about their involvement even 25 years later.