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An urgent manifesto for global democracy from Joshua Wong, the 23-year-old phenomenon leading Hong Kong's protests - and Nobel Peace Prize nominee - with an introduction by Ai Weiwei
With global democracy under threat, we must act together to defend out rights: now.
When he was 14, Joshua Wong made history. While the adults stayed silent, Joshua staged the first-ever student protest in Hong Kong to oppose National Education -- and won.
Since then, Joshua has led the Umbrella Movement, founded a political party, and rallied the international community around the anti-extradition bill protests, which have seen 2 million people -- more than a quarter of the population -- take to Hong Kong's streets. His actions have sparked worldwide attention, earned him a Nobel Peace Prize nomination, and landed him in jail twice.
Composed in three parts, Unfree Speech chronicles Joshua's path to activism, collects the letters he wrote as a political prisoner under the Chinese state, and closes with a powerful and urgent call for all of us globally to defend our democratic values.
When we stay silent, no one is safe. When we free our speech, our voice becomes one.
About the Author
Joshua Wong was born in 1996. He has been named by TIME, Fortune, Prospect, and Forbes as one of the world's most influential leaders. In 2018, he was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize for his leading role in the Umbrella Revolution. He is Secretary-General of Demosisto, a pro-democracy organization which he founded in 2016 that advocates self-determination for Hong Kong. Joshua came onto the political scene in 2011 at the age of fourteen, when he founded Scholarism and successfully protested against the enforcement of Chinese National Education in Hong Kong. He has been arrested numerous times for his protesting and activism and has served more than one hundred days in jail. He has been the subject of two documentaries, including the Netflix original documentary, Joshua: Teenager vs. Superpower. This is the first time his work has been published in English.
“If we want freedom, we need to learn from Hong Kong. With values, tactics, and courage, Joshua Wong shows us the way.” —Timothy Snyder, best-selling author of On Tyranny: Twenty Lessons from the Twentieth Century
“Joshua Wong is a brave and inspiring young leader. Together we are one loud voice that cannot be silenced.” —Greta Thunberg
'[Wong's] tenacious dynamism shines through Unfree Speech: a guide to mobilising for democracy and representation in and far beyond Hong Kong.' –Julia Lovell, award-winning author of Maoism
One of the most prominent political activists in the world ... a powerful insight into the turbulence on the city's streets that made world headlines –Rana Mitter, Sunday Times
A call to arms for the Snapchat generation ... This book is a memoir of an extraordinary decade in which Wong went from a nerdy obsession with Marvel comics to a Netflix documentary in which he was characterised as a superhero for democracy. –Tim Adams, The Observer