A decade after Chinese troops shot their way into Beijing's Tiananmen Square, killing hundreds of student demonstrators, a record 70,000 Hong Kong residents streamed into Victoria Park in this densely populated city to mourn the democracy activists.
Beijing had warned that commemoration of the incident, at home and abroad, "will not be well-received." But while public mourning on this 10th anniversary was strictly repressed on the Chinese mainland, it was openly expressed here, the only corner of China where such open defiance is allowed.
Thousands of candles burned in the sweltering summer night, as men, women and children swayed and sang along with Chinese patriotic anthems blaring from massive loudspeakers. On a stage flanked by a large black and white banner proclaiming, "June 4th: 10th year" and a giant video screen, Hong Kong's popular democracy activists urged the crowd to chant along to what has become their mantra: "Long live democracy! Long live freedom! People's power will win!"
Eleven prominent mainland dissidents, outspoken critics of the Beijing government, had been denied visas into Hong Kong to commemorate the crackdown. But the defiant voice of one broke through. Exiled student leader Wang Dan addressed the crowd through a live phone link.
"They will never cut off our voices," he proclaimed.