Hong Kong, Chile, Algeria: in 2019 the world was in turmoil. But Covid-19 has brought most movements to a standstill. Now the Internet must replace the street as a place of protest.
Not even a year ago, hundreds of thousands of people crowded through the narrow streets of Hong Kong. This went on for almost every weekend for months, in the fight for freedom and participation and against Beijing’s influence.
Today it looks like a distant past. Even the temporary arrest of 14 leading members of the democracy movement this weekend passed almost silently.
Among them were well-known lawyer Martin Lee, former MPs Albert Ho and Lee Cheuk Yan, and publisher Jimmy Lai. A few months ago that would have driven people onto the streets. But the virus is now forcing even the most persistent Hong Kong people to stay at home.