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Thousands in Hong Kong mark the 25th anniversary of Tiananmen Square massacre (PHOTOS)
Wednesday, June 4th, 2014

Tens of thousands of people held a candlelight vigil in Hong Kong on Wednesday to mark the bloody crackdown on pro-democracy protesters 25 years ago in Beijing's Tiananmen Square, while mainland China authorities sought to whitewash the 1989 event.

Demonstrators holding candles and clad mainly in black gathered in a downtown park and called on Beijing to atone for the killings.

A large number of mainland Chinese also flocked to commemorate the crackdown in the former British territory, where a vigil has been held every year since the massacre. Organizers said some 180,000 people took part on Wednesday evening.

"Hong Kong is a free society where you can speak out. In China, the Communist Party dictates everything," said Chen Jing Gen, in his 60s, who traveled from the southern Chinese city of Shenzhen to attend the vigil.

"People in mainland China are mostly aware of June 4, but due to the control of the Party no one dares to talk about it."

— Thomson Reuters

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Pro-democracy activists argue with police as they confront a pro-China group during a rally to mark the 1989 Tiananmen Square military crackdown, in Hong Kong on June 4, 2014.

(Alex Ogle - AFP/Getty Images)
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A candlelight vigil on the 25th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square protests in Hong Kong.

(Lam Yik Fei - Getty Images)
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People take part in a candlelight vigil on the 25th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square protests during heavy rain on June 4, 2014 in Hong Kong.

(Lam Yik Fei - Getty Images)
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Held to mark the crackdown on the pro-democracy movement in Beijing's Tiananmen Square on June 4, 1989, it is the only commemoration on Chinese soil.

(Lam Yik Fei - Getty Images)
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A large number of mainland Chinese also flocked to commemorate the crackdown in the former British territory.

(Jessica Hromas - Getty Images)
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Demonstrators holding candles and clad mainly in black gathered in a downtown park called on Beijing to atone for the killings.

(Lam Yik Fei - Getty Images)
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Students address the crowd to commemorate China's 1989 Tiananmen Square events during a candlelight vigil in Hong Kong on June 4, 2014.

(PHILIPPE LOPEZ - AFP/Getty Images)
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Pro-democracy activists scream at a pro-China group during a rally to mark the 1989 Tiananmen Square military crackdown, in Hong Kong on June 4, 2014.

(ALEX OGLE - AFP/Getty Images)
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It's a lovely thing when shared traditions unite so many different people.