Thomas Peter / REUTERS
- Hong Kong protesters joined hands on the 30th anniversary of the Baltic Way, when an estimated 2 million people protested Soviet rule by forming a human chain across Latvia, Estonia, and Lithuania.
- "Hongkongers, let’s make history together and let the world witness our solidarity," a promotional video for the demonstration said.
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Thousands of chanting Hong Kong protesters joined hands to form human chains on Friday in a peaceful protest, with almost three months of anti-government demonstrations showing no sign of let-up across the Chinese-ruled territory.
Demonstrators, families young and old, some people masked, some using hand wipes to stay clean, linked hands across different districts as others held up banners thanking overseas nations for supporting "freedom and democracy" in Hong Kong.
According to the Hong Kong Free Press, some protesters carried signs in a variety of languages, including Latvian, Lithuanian, and Estonian, thanking foreign countries for their support of Hong Kong protesters.
"Hongkongers, let’s make history together and let the world witness our solidarity," a promotional video for the demonstration said. "Let’s hold each other’s hands and defend this city with our bodies and our will. Let’s show the world our determination to resist tyranny."
Their move echoed one on August 23, 1989, when an estimated 2 million people joined arms across the three Baltic states in a protest against Soviet rule that became known as the "Baltic Way" or "Baltic Chain."
Tyrone Siu / REUTERS
"I joined the Hong Kong Way because it’s peaceful," said protester Peter Cheung, 27. "This is the 30th anniversary of the Baltic Way. I hope there will be a bigger chance to make an international noise."
The protest, which included dozens shining lights from the top of Kowloon’s Lion Rock, visible from the main island of Hong Kong, showed the apparent defiance of Hong Kong people after warnings from Communist Party leaders in Beijing and Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam about violence.
Kai Pfaffenbach / REUTERS
Police presence was thin and the protest ended promptly at 9 p.m. local time.
But protesters are also planning a "stress test" of the airport this weekend, and some, wearing their traditional black garb, were making their way from the nearby suburban town of Tung Chung on Friday night.
Thomas Peter / REUTERS
The protests, triggered by a now-suspended bill that would have allowed extraditions to China, have plunged the former British colony into its worst crisis since its return to China in 1997 and pose a major challenge for Beijing.
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