Cleaning of the Pillar of Shame and Repainting Swire Bridge


HKU students have never forgotten that 30 years ago, Beijing students took to the streets to fight for a clean government, integrity and freedom, but they were suffered massacre by the Chinese government. Such democratic movement aroused Hong Kong people’s pursuit of democracy and at the same time, changed our attitude towards the transfer of sovereignty, determining that the Chinese Communist Party was a violent and untrustworthy regime.

Back then, in the year of 1989, in order to condemn the massacre, HKU students came together and painted the words “‘Souls of martyrs shall forever linger despite the brutal massacre; Spark of democracy shall forever glow for the demise of evils” on Swire Bridge. The University once neglected the history and they washed away the words on the grounds that the June Fourth incident had passed. Such move was protested by HKU students and alumni and the words were repainted again. Since then, it has become an annual tradition for HKU students to commemorate the June Fourth incident by repainting the words on Swire Bridge.

In 1997, the University and police hindered students from placing the Pillar of Shame at the University of Hong Kong because of political reasons. With the endeavours of the predecessors who fought hard to defend the academic freedom and freedom of expression, the Pillar of Shame is able to stand still on Haking Wong Podium.

Today, in the society where absurdities and injustices come about incessantly, HKU students still choose to participate in different social movements, in pursuit of democracy and freedom. Through cleaning the Pillar of Shame and repainting Swire Bridge, it is hoped that the June Fourth Incident can be commemorated and HKU history can be retained. We also wish that it can remind students and the general public how invaluable democracy and freedom are, encouraging them to defend justice. Current Affairs Committee, HKUSU Council invites all HKU students to participate in the event, details are as follows:

Cleaning of the Pillar of Shame
Date: 4th June (Tuesday)
Time: 13:00 – 14:00
Venue: The Pillar of Shame, Haking Wong Podium

Repainting Swire Bridge
Date: 4th June (Tuesday)
Time: 14:00 – 15:00
Venue: Swire Bridge

Severe weather arrangement:

The events will be postponed if it is affected by severe weather. Further arrangements will be posted on the official Facebook page of the Current Affairs Committee, HKUSU Council.

For any enquiries, please feel free to contact Pang Ka Ho, Acting Chairperson of the Current Affairs Committee, HKUSU Council, via or send a message to our inbox.