It's hard to find positive news in Hong Kong these days. Every day, the world watches with growing anxiety as its citizens bravely stand up against what they consider the oppressive hand of China. So much of that anxiety stems from the unknown: if China cracks down on Hong Kong will anyone stand up for the political dissidents? Yet, that same uncertainty is also the source of some incredible inspiration.

Over one-hundred thousand protesters in the semi-autonomous city of Hong Kong formed a human chain that snaked its way through the city and up the famous Lion Rock hill, in protest against the Chinese mainland government's attempt at more centralized rule over the city. The visuals from the spectacle, much like the unyielding struggle for freedom around the globe, are impossible to ignore.



Organizers of the protest were inspired by the "Baltic Way," a similar protest in 1989 in which citizens across Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia formed a human chain of nearly two-million people across 419 miles to pressure the Soviet government in Moscow into giving them autonomy and the right to self-government. It was a significant event at the time and the hope is that following in those footsteps now will keep international attention on the situation in Hong Kong.


Hong Kong has been under Chinese control since 1997, when the British handed it back to Chinese authorities after 100 years of control. At the time of the handover Beijing promised a policy of "one country, two systems" designed to let Hong Kong keep most of the legal and economic structures that were in place during British rule. But, in the decades since the Communist Party of China, China's ruling political party, has instituted a number of changes that are geared more toward "just one system."


RELATED: A teenager took advantage of Popeyes' long chicken sandwich lines by registering people to vote

This is the 12th consecutive weekend of protests in reaction to a new extradition bill introduced by Beijing that would allow the government to prosecute criminal and civil cases in mainland courts. These courts are seen by many as tools used by central communist authorities to stifle dissent and free speech. The protests have at times been peaceful, as in this case, and tumultuous like when protesters stormed the Parliament building and Police cracked down on demonstrators in the streets with tear gas and rubber bullets.


This is a fraught time and brings to mind the Tiananmen Square student protests nearly thirty years ago that seared iconic images of tanks rolling over protestors into the minds of people all over the world. And is made all the more salient by reports of the People's Liberation Army, the main arm of the Chinese military, holding drills outside of the city despite Hong Kong's chief executive Carrie Lam's promises that a vote on the extradition bill is delayed indefinitely.

Let's Do More Together

A Boston couple moved into a new place the week of lockdown. Here’s how they kept their sanity.

The new litmus test for domestic partnerships? A pandemic.

For medical workers in a pandemic, protecting loved ones can be tricky.

To support this effort and other programs like it, all you have to do is keep doing what you're doing — like shopping for laundry detergent. Turn your everyday actions into acts of good every day at P&G Good Everyday.

True

When Jonathan Irons was 16, he was put on trial for burglary and assault with a weapon. According to CBS Sports, Irons was tried as adult, and an all-white jury found him guilty—despite there being no witnesses, no fingerprints, no footprints, and no DNA proving his guilt.

Irons began his 50-year sentence in a Missouri state prison in 1998. Now, 22 years later, he's a free man, largely thanks to the tireless efforts of a WNBA superstar.

Maya Moore is arguably the most decorated professional women's basketball player in the U.S. A first-round draft pick in 2011, she's played for the Minnesota Lynx, where she became a six-time WNBA All-Star, a five-time All-WNBA First Team player, a four-time WNBA champion, and the WNBA Most Valuable Player in 2014.

But before the 2019 season, in the peak of her career, Moore decided to take the year off for a different kind of court battle—one that had wrongfully convicted a young man and doomed him to spend most of his life behind bars. Her decision rocked her sport, and there was no guarantee that sacrificing an entire season to fight for criminal justice reform would bear any fruit.

Keep Reading Show less