In June of 2019, a proposed amendment to Hong Kong’s Fugitive Offenders Ordinance, sparked widespread protests across the region. Protestors saw in the bill a threat to the judicial independence that Hong Kong has enjoyed since its return to China from the United Kingdom in 1997.
The Special Administrative Region plunged into turmoil as disaffected youth combined the ideology the Arab Spring with their fluency in emerging digital tools to organize and mobilize a seemingly leaderless movement. The demonstrations which continue into 2020 have challenged the city’s government, universities, and communities and even test families and friendships.
On the first anniversary of the beginning of this wave of anti-government protests, South China Morning Post released a new book Rebel City: Hong Kong's Year of Water and Fire (World Scientific, 2020) Rebel City presents some of the most comprehensive coverage of Hong Kong’s political unrest. Editors Zuraidah Ibrahim and Jeffie Lam masterfully weave together the perspectives gathered by the intrepid reporters of Hong Kong’s newspaper of record. The book is not only a carefully curated selection of contemporaneous news coverage, but it also offers thoughtful reflections and penetrating insight into a pivotal moment for Hong Kong.
Nick Pozek is the Assistant Director of the Parker School of Foreign and Comparative Law at Columbia University in the City of New York and a host of New Books in Law.