Friday, Aug. 23 marked the 80th anniversary of the signing of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, the secret protocols of which led to the occupation of the Baltics. On its 50th anniversary in 1989, two million people formed a 600-kilometer human chain in protest that stretched from Tallinn to Vilnius known as the Baltic Way. This Friday, inspired by the Baltics, Hongkongers protesting for democracy formed their own Hong Kong Way across their city.
Protesters in Hong Kong carried flags and held up their mobile phones to illuminate the human chain, which took place Friday evening local time. Some even held signs bearing Estonian, Latvian and Lithuanian flags and messages addressed to the people of the Baltics.
The Hong Kong Way is the latest event organized in a wave of protests that has lasted for nearly three months already.
"We have tried traditional processions, more militant steps — although I don't agree with these — and now we are coming out together to hold hands and show that we are still united," said Wing, one of the participating protesters.
"With this we are showing people all over the world the high quality of Hongkongers," said another protester. "We are also capable of doing what people did 30 years ago."
Friday's protest was widely covered in the international media as the Hong Kong Way.
Hongkongers protesting infringement on freedoms
In 1997, in the handover of Hong Kong from the U.K. to China, the latter promised to leave intact key principles from the era of British rule, including an independent judiciary and the freedom of speech.
Many, however, find that authorities in Hong Kong have bowed to Chinese authorities in significantly curbing these rights and freedoms in recent years, citing, among other concerns, the disappearance of bookstore employees, the exclusion of well-known politicians from elections, and the imprisonment of pro-democratic protest leaders.
Click here for more photos and information about the Hong Kong Way.
Editor: Aili Vahtla