Hong Kong marks Tiananmen anniversary, defying a police ban

HONG KONG (AP) — Thousands of people in Hong Kong defied a police ban and marked the 31st anniversary of the crushing of a democracy movement centered on Beijing’s Tiananmen Square. Crowds in the former British colony lit candles and observed a minute of silence to remember the 1989 crackdown. With democracy all but snuffed out in mainland China, the focus has shifted increasingly to semi-autonomous Hong Kong, where authorities for the first time banned the annual vigil. Large crowds also marked the anniversary in the Mongkok district in Kowloon, and when several people tried to barricade a road, police rushed to detain them, using pepper spray. Beijing is taking a tougher stance following months of anti-government protests last year.