How the soft power of the democracy movement is still alive – Antony Dapiran
Based on extracts from City on Fire: The Fight for Hong Kong
Hong Kong can feel at times like a disenchanted city.
The protests of 2019 drew upon a deep-seated malaise, bringing onto the streets people who felt they were stuck with a leader they hadn’t chosen, running a government that didn’t listen to them, in a city whose housing they could not afford, and with wages and an economy that were going nowhere. During the course of 2020, the new National Security Law coupled with an ongoing crackdown by the authorities has left the population even more dispirited. Many with the means or the qualifications are actively exploring options for emigration. Others despair at what the future might hold for them – or their children.
It is hard to love a disenchanted city. Disenchantment breeds cynicism, and creates an emotional detachment from the community. Yet there is a solution to this state in which Hong Kong finds itself.