In a pro-democracy campaign now called the “Hong Kong Way”, thousands of Hong Kong protestors formed a human chain stretching more than 40 kilometres around Hong Kong’s public spaces, last Friday. The pro-democracy protestors encircled public spaces across the nation – hands together, and occasionally unified in a cheer of song.
The chain comes on the 30th anniversary of its inspiration, the ‘Baltic Way’ protests, where 2 million people along the Soviet bloc of the Baltics sought independence from Soviet rule. Protestors were armed with the flashlights of their phones, lasers pointed to the skies and their voices echoing liberation anthems such as “Do You Hear The People Sing?” from the famous French Revolution play, Les Miserables. Others chanted slogans like “Free Hong Kong! Democracy now!”.
How did it come about?
Done without any centralised organisation, the city-wide call to action was coordinated over a series of rag-tag social media platforms. The call to action was incepted first on LIHKG, a Reddit-eque social media platform, where anonymous users discussed methods for furthering collective action. The forum has been the nerve-centre of many other protests which have largely been created and led by leaderless movements.
How did it go?
The Human Chain consisted of people from all walks of life, teachers, lawyers in suits, accountants and medical workers – who all forwent their occupations to express their solidarity to their pro-independence movement. The protests were unauthorised but peaceful, with no injuries reported.