Protestors of Hong-Kong at the leading- edge

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A rear view of people with placards and posters on global strike for climate change.

Author: Future Manager Research Center

The most technological protest ever happened from 2019 to 2020. The absolute protagonist were the youngest. The Hong- Kongers are known as the most technological people on the planet and it does not surprise us that they have brought their fight on a total different level. An opposition like this has never been seen and the protestors are well organized.

The young people decided to use anything they have at their disposal: from common tools as umbrellas (in order to defend themselves from the cameras and the tear gas), dark glasses (so they cannot be identified), safety helmet and anti- gas mask; to more sophisticated tools as using social media and apps to organize themselves in groups and give some sort of guidelines on how to behave.

The main scope, indeed, was to remain anonymous, so they are very cautious in every action they take. They are trying to protect themselves on different levels. One of the most popular items they are using are the hand- held laser pointers, which emit powerful beams of green and blue light. This is used to confuse police officers, scramble facial recognition cameras and deter people from taking photos amid political turmoil. This is the strategy that is being used against law enforcement cameras.

Also, the protestors did not save any text message or contact on their phone and try to hide their communications. One of the principal apps they were using to coordinate themselves was Telegram, they created small groups and designated singular “dispatch rider” to disseminate information. But, despite their attempts to hide their communications, somehow, Telegram has been used against them; this is not enough to stop the most technological protestors ever. They have turned up to a new app that works through Bluetooth, Bridgefy.

Bridgefy is the new communication app they are using in order to organize the groups and protests. This new app allows them to communicate with each other without internet connection, so the Chinese Police cannot intercept their messages. Bridgefy uses a mesh network, which links together users’ devices allowing people to chat with others even if they are in a different part of the city, by hopping on other users’ phones until the message reaches the intended person.

Not only the protestors of Hong- Kong used technology at its potential but they, also, made Art one of their weapons. Through their evocative Graffiti they tried to give a message of unity. Nowadays, we can find, on the walls of Hong-Kong, a lots of colourful, beautiful posters of the protest: they are ironic and combative, inspired by the Japanese mangas and cinematographic flyers. These posters are created by professionals or simple amateurs that love art.

This massive protest became highly symbolic and everyone is giving their contribution. A local artist offered to provide free tattoos of the symbols of the protest. Everyone is getting a tattoo; they are choosing different images that represent the protest (umbrella, the orchid flower, eye patch) of these past three months. They want an indelible mark to show one day to their children as proof that they have been part of the most technological protest of the last decade.

These are the Hong- Kongers, the most leading- age demonstrators that have produced an art of the protest and through their stubbornness have won this important battle.