Hong Kong, 2019—millions of people with hard hats and umbrellas poured out of their shoebox apartments and office towers onto the streets of Asia’s financial capital. At stake was their freedom and what they saw as an attempt by communist China to take over their city. On the other side of the barricades, more than 30,000 police officers, supported by armed sympathisers, were determined to quell the rebellion. The stage was set for one of the most dramatic civil conflicts of the decade.
These essays and book reviews, published in Mekong Review between June 2019 and February 2020, document a city in open rebellion.
‘We were all like arrows, quivering on the string.’ Lok Man Law
‘The only thing we know is that if we relent, the crackdown will be swift and merciless. So we persist. But for how much longer?’ Kong Tsung-gan
‘Because there is no doubt that the city, and everyone of us who live here, is experiencing a massive collective trauma. How can our city go through this past summer and not be on the verge of a nervous breakdown?’ Antony Dapiran