Photograph by Kin Cheung—AP
News time

Hong Kong Is on the Frontlines of a Global Battle For Freedom

Protesters throw back a tear gas canister fired by police during a rally against an extradition law proposal outside the government headquarters in Hong Kong on June 12.
Dale De La Rey—AFP/Getty Images Protesters throw back a tear gas canister fired by police during a rally against an extradition law proposal outside the government headquarters in Hong Kong on June 12.

The crowds weren’t just equipped for a storm, they were counting on one. When rain started to fall on the tens of thousands of mostly young people amassed around Hong Kong’s legislature on the morning of June 12, umbrellas popped open with loud shouts of “Ga yau!” — a Cantonese cheer meaning “Add oil,” as to a fire. Within hours, the flimsy canopies were flipped sideways and turned into makeshift shields against tear gas and pepper spray fired by local police. They proved less reliable against rubber bullets, however, and might offer no protection at all against the authoritarian forces that loom over the entire island.

But the point was to try.

Read the rest of the News time cover story here.

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