Tens of thousands of pro-democracy demonstrators stretched for kilometres and formed human chains across large parts of Hong Kong on Friday night.
The latest in the series of demonstrations since June, in a call for direct elections, this “Baltic Way” protests recalled a major anti-Soviet demonstration three decades ago.
Joining hands on both sides of the city harbour, the demonstrators lined for the peaceful protest while singing protests songs and slogans and holding cellphones with illuminated torch lights.
The demonstration was planned to coincide with the 30th anniversary of the “Baltic Way protest” when more than two million residents of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania formed a human chain to call for independence from the Soviet Union.
According to reports, the human chain was spread across three routes totalling 20 miles over densely populated sections of Hong Kong Island, Kowloon and the New Territories.
The plans developed quickly through a spreadsheet posted online this week after a march on Sunday drew hundreds of thousands who demonstrated in the rain, local media reports suggest.
This pro-democracy event is in line with a variety of protest efforts, including marches, petitions, advertisements in international publications and walkways filled with art.
Demonstrators on several occasions in the past have confronted with local police and Chinese nationals and also defaced many governments buildings and blocked transportations.
Meanwhile, a United Kingdom consular worker, Simon Cheng, who was detained in mainland China for 15 days has returned to Hong Kong.
The 28-year-old trade and investment officer was reportedly detained by the government while he was returning from an official trip to China.
Since June, Hong Kong has been hit by unprecedented protests against an Extradition Bill, now suspended, that authorises the Chinese government to extradite Hong Kong criminals and conduct their trial in China.
But the protestors are demanding its complete withdrawal and repealing of cases against the protesters.
Quoting the police officials, few media reports have confirmed the arrest of at least 748 protesters ever since the protests broke out in the city.
There were reports that China has moved military to the semiautonomous territory from the border to curtail the accelerating protests.
Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam has recently called for a dialogue with the protestors. But many don’t trust her.
However, the protests have posed a serious and direct threat to Chinese President Xi Jinping with few officials even mentioning that the protests have started showing signs of terrorism.