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SCMP's reporting team looks back at Hong Kong's most wrenching political crisis since its return to Chinese rule in 1997. Anti-extradition bill protests that morphed rapidly into a wider anti-government movement in 2019 left no aspect of the city untouched, from its social compact to its body politic to its open economy. The demonstrations which continued well into 2020 have tested every institution of the city, from the civil service to the police to the courts and even its rail transport operator, and from offices and businesses to universities and schools, and from churches to families and even friends.

This book is for anyone seeking to understand not just what Hong Kong has gone through but also the global phenomenon of increasingly leaderless protest movements. Fuelled by profound angst about the place of millenial youth in society, widening income inequality, and the speed of digital communications, Hong Kong was in retrospect ripe to be the laboratory for a new-age protest movement, nearly a decade after the Middle East's Arab spring.

The essays in the book collectively compose a picture of a society in trauma, bent and broken, but showing signs of an uncanny ability to bounce back. What shape it will be in a few years from now, however, is much harder to predict.



  • Foreword
  • Acknowledgments
  • Introduction
  • Path to a Firestorm
  • Water and Fire
  • The Mobilized and the Marginalized
  • In the Crossfire
  • Law and Disorder
  • Beyond Borders
  • Reflections
  • Scanning the Horizon
  • Recommended Videos
  • Glossary
  • Index



The South China Morning Post is a leading global news media company that has reported on China and Asia for more than a century. Founded in 1903, SCMP is headquartered in Hong Kong and is the city's newspaper of record. To serve its global readership, its network of correspondents spans across Asia and the US reporting on issues relevant to its mission, which is to lead the global conversation about China. Its digital reach makes it one of the region's biggest publications, providing readers with accurate, credible and compelling content. SCMP became the first news organization in Asia to join the Trust Project in 2020, a consortium of top news companies developing global transparency standards for credible journalism.


Zuraidah Ibrahim is Deputy Executive Editor of the South China Morning Post, overseeing local Hong Kong coverage and Asia and International news. Previously the deputy editor of The Straits Times in Singapore, she was a key author of the bestselling memoir Lee Kuan Yew, Hard Truths to Keep Singapore Going (2011). Her most recent publication is The Opposition in Singapore (2017).


Jeffie Lam is a correspondent and leads the Hong Kong politics team at the South China Morning Post. An award-winning political journalist, she started her career as a reporter in 2009 and joined the Post in 2013, covering the city's legislative affairs, social movements and party politics. Jeffie reported on the Occupy movement in 2014 and the protests of 2019.


Book Review : 

Post launches anthology of reporting on year of Hong Kong protests, SCMP, 2020/06/01 

Rebel City - Hong Kong's Year of Water and Fire

  • 作者 | AUTHOR

    Author: South China Morning Post Team

    Edited By: Zuraidah Ibrahim (South China Morning Post, Hong Kong) and Jeffie Lam (South China Morning Post, Hong Kong)

  • 出版社 | PUBLISHER

    World Scientific
  • 書號 | ISBN






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