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Opinion

In Hong Kong, calls for democracy are written on the walls. Literally.

Associated Press

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Marking a summer of rolling protests, millions of Hongkongers have taken to the streets to oppose a controversial extradition bill and China’s attacks on democratic freedoms.

Associated Press

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Scenes of anguish, blood and tear gas are dominating media coverage.

Associated Press

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Reuters

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Largely absent from the coverage is a far more uplifting and meaningful visual: “Lennon Walls” bearing rainbow Post-It notes of hope and determination from Hong Kong’s residents.

Reuters

Vincent Thian/AP

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Reuters

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The notes hold messages of frustration with the government and admiration of the protesters. They include quotes by Martin Luther King Jr., Chinese poetry and calls for political change.

Reuters

Justin Chin/Bloomberg

Justin Chin/Bloomberg

"You’re the one that showed us peaceful marches have no effect.”

“We fight not to change the world, but to make sure the world does not change us.”

“I want universal suffrage.”

“Carrie Lam [Hong Kong’s chief executive] has already been corrupted.”

Justin Chin/Bloomberg

Justin Chin/Bloomberg

The original Lennon Wall stands in Prague, dedicated to the memory of Beatle John Lennon and the 1989 Velvet Revolution.

Justin Chin/Bloomberg

The Lennon Wall in Prague.

Petr David Josek/AP

Hong Kong’s walls have become a flash point in the tug-of-war between pro-Beijing supporters and pro-democracy activists, with riot police sent to tear the Post-Its down.

But with each note removed, more fill the space.

Petr David Josek/AP

Tyrone Siu/Reuters

The Lennon Walls have become an anonymous platform for dissent in a city where the media and Internet are increasingly monitored. Even people afraid of the police crackdowns are using the walls to participate.

Tyrone Siu/Reuters

Tyrone Siu/Reuters

The walls remind us there is more to the protests than hazy chaos. They are a clear picture of the vibrancy and diversity within Hong Kong — and the creative ways a society can mobilize against creeping authoritarianism.

Tyrone Siu/Reuters

Edgar Su/Reuters