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2019.08.20 10:00

Hong Kong protesters draw inspiration from the Baltic Way

LRT.lt2019.08.20 10:00

Protesters in Hong Kong are calling for a pro-democracy action on Friday in a form of a human chain across the city. The organisers call it ‘The Hong Kong Way’ and it would be held on the 30th anniversary of the Baltic Way, a landmark 1989 rally in the Baltic states' movement towards independence.

A user on the LIHKG forum, often used by protesters to discuss ideas, proposed ‘The Hong Kong Way’ on Monday morning. It is yet uncertain how many people may join the protest.

“The Baltic states showed the world they were united. Hong Kong residents are united now as well. All of our five demands must be fulfilled, especially our main demand: universal suffrage,” said the user Spring Worm who started the thread on the Reddit-like forum.

On Sunday, organisers – the Civil Human Rights Front – estimated that 1.7 million people joined a peaceful rally in Hong Kong.

The Baltic Way saw around 2 million people across Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia form a 650-kilometre human chain. It was held on August 23, 1989, on the 50th anniversary of the infamous Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact by which the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany carved up their respective spheres of influence in Central Europe.

The European Union observes August 23 as the European Day of Remembrance for Victims of Stalinism and Nazism, commonly known as Black Ribbon Day.

Protesting in Hong Kong erupted in June over a proposed law that would allow criminal suspects in the island to be extradited and tried in mainland China.

The unrest has been fueled by broader worries about the erosion of freedoms guaranteed under the ‘one country, two systems’ formula put in place after The United Kingdom returned Hong Kong to China in 1997, including an independent judiciary and the right to protest.

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