Dissent … #bewater … from Hong Kong

Hong Kong was described as a “city of protests”, long before the 2019 Protests, by its Special Administrative Region Government, in dialogues with international interlocutors, in part to promote a positive image of difference from Mainland China and in part to address criticisms against its public order legislation. This paper considers how expressions of dissent in Hong Kong since the resumption of exercise of Chinese sovereignty in 1997 have morphed from peaceful, symbolic and occasional to well beyond the point that the crowd “doth protest too much, methinks”. This is followed by a discussion of the factors that contribute to and sustain the current formless, multi-plicated and apparently leaderless but self-conscious resistance of the governing regime in Hong Kong and of the inspirations and possible legacies this “#bewater” approach of dissent/resistance/revolution first described in Hong Kong in 2019 may have on the Global Unsettlement currently underway.