Hongkongers’ Fight for Freedom

Voices from the 2019 Anti-extradition Movement.


Hongkongers’ Fight for Freedom: Voices from the 2019 Anti-extradition Movement documents this momentous episode in the history of Hong Kong through the voices of its participants. Drawing on the interviews of 56 participants, this book portrays how normally acquiescent Hongkongers joined the Movement en masse, driven by government intransigence, police brutality and flagrant injustice. It also conveys the deep emotions and strong sense of commitment and identity which evolved in the process. The Movement was a courageous effort by its citizens to defend their freedoms, but sadly, it also marked the beginning of the city’s sharp descent into Chinese tyranny. While a curtain of silence now enshrouds Hong Kong, it is imperative that these voices of resistance be preserved and heard.

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Nam Kiu Tsing, Ph.D. (Mathematics, 1983), University of Hong Kong; Ph.D. (Engineering, 1992), University of Maryland. Retired Associate Professor of Mathematics at the University of Hong Kong. Besides publishing research articles in mathematics, he also authored a book on civil disobedience, which was taken down from public libraries by the Hong Kong Government after installation of the National Security Law.


Author Statement

List of Figures

1The Prelude
1 A Story of the Secondary School Student

Part 1
The Study
2Motivations for Participation
1 To Stop the Amendments

2 Anger and Shock Mobilised Actions

3The Movement of No Return
1 The Tragic Night of 7.21: No Rioters without a Tyrannical Regime

2 To Resist by Any Means Necessary

4Be Water: Dying For the Political Demands
1 “No Central Stage”: Each Finds His or Her Own Role in the Movement

2 Be Water: Ever-Changing Positions

5Radiating the Movement: Multiple Roles of Backup Support
1 We Provide Supplies to Save Our Children

2 We Are Drivers Covering the Young People to Leave the Scene

3 Using Social Media for Advocating: We Are People’s Reporters

4 We Are Here to Accompany the Young People

5 We Provide Legal Assistance and Do Fundraising

6“Hong Kong” vs “Mainland China”: Identity and Resistance
1 Foundation of Identity: Political and Social Values

2 Rejecting Immigrants and Tourists from China and Objecting to Profit Transfer to China

3 Between Chinese and Hong Kong Identity

4 “Today’s Xinjiang, Tomorrow’s Hong Kong”

7What It Means
1 Political Motivation

2 Radicalisation of the Movement and Changes in Participants’ Roles

3 Emotions and Feelings Driving the Movement

4 Lest We Forget

Part 2
The Stories
8Brick, a University Graduate: “Since Then, the Fights Defined Me”

9Streambreaker at His Seventeen: “If You Ask Me What Has Been Sacrificed … It’s Probably My Future”

10Loafer and His Brother Were Arrested: “From That Day On, We Became a Family of ‘Martyrs’”

11Henry: as a Hongkonger, I Did “What I Had To Do”

12Elsa: “How a Guardian for Kids Ended Up in Handcuffs”
1 Before All This Came About

2 It All Began With Protecting Our Kids

3 First Successful Mediation

4 Building Team Spirit and Rapport

5 The Single ‘Pig-Mouth’ Upgraded

6 Tears on the Battlefield

7 The Battle of the Chinese University

8 The Battle of the Polytechnic University

9 Walking Together to the End

13Lessons from Hong Kong
1 The Changed Face of Hong Kong
1.1 The Judicial System

1.2 The Media and Freedom of Expression

1.3 The Shrinking of Civil Society

1.4 Censorship and  ccp  Propaganda

2 The Iron Fist Closing on a Recalcitrant “New, Young Nation”
2.1 “Society of Social Movements” (Lee, 2021, p. 1)

2.2 Localism in the Protest Culture

2.3 “Hong Kong” vs “Chinese”

3 The 2019 Hong Kong Protests and the Changing World Order

4 Actors or Pawns in History?



(1) Research institutes for Political Science, International Relationships, and History, (2) Libraries, (3) Academics, post-graduate and undergraduate students; (4) Educated laymen, all with special interest in Asia, China and Hong Kong.
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