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A gigantic protest — estimated to be 1.7 million people strong — against China’s effort to limit freedoms in Hong Kong filled that city’s streets today, despite pouring rain and in defiance of police orders.
Sunday’s action, billed as a return to the peaceful origins of the leaderless protest movement, drew more than 1.7 million people, making it one of the largest rallies since the protests began about three months ago, according to organisers the Civil Human Rights Front.
It ended a weekend of protests that, as of early Monday, saw no major confrontations with police for the first time in weeks.
Hong Kong has always been China’s equivalent of West Berlin in East Germany, a leak in the monolith communist state that in the long run can only make that communist state unsustainable. Khrushchev temporarily solved this problem (for about forty years) by building a wall around West Berlin that blocked East Germans from entering it. Khrushchev’s act eventually failed, and when it did it took down the Soviet Union.
What will China do? In 1989 the Chinese communists shut down all opposition, far more brutally than Khrushchev, killing thousands in Tiananmen Square. Can the do the same now in Hong Kong?
At the moment this is very unclear.