HONG KONG -- The last days of May were just another weekend in downtown Hong Kong. Alan, a 20-year-old university student, helped to build barricades from trash cans and bricks dug up from pedestrian streets nearby. He was calm as he used a pair of binoculars to monitor the waiting riot police, alerting the crowd with improvised hand signals as the line advanced. As clouds of tear gas swirled, the black-clad protesters retreated, chanting, "Free Hong Kong!"
"It's a bit deja vu, really," he said. Alan has joined the protests almost every week since they began last summer, stopping only when the COVID-19 outbreak cleared the streets.