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Hong Kong opponents of PRC / CCP totalitarian rule can read the title of this post.  Many of them can also read this geometric typeface:

In both cases it is the rallying cry of the dissidents:

gwong1 fuk6 hoeng1 gong2 si4 doi6 gaak3 ming6  (Jyutping)
"Liberate Hong Kong! the revolution of our times!"

With the recent imposition of the National Security Law, the Beijing government has suddenly (27 years ahead of schedule) made Hong Kong subject to the same draconian constraints on free speech that are enforced everywhere in the PRC. (See: "National Security Law eclipses Hong Kong", 6/2/20.)

The erstwhile principle of "One country, two systems" (Yīguóliǎngzhì 一国两制) is dead.

"As in mainland China, Hong Kongers now use code to evade political censorship" (Quartz, 7/3/20)

"‘GFHG, SDGM’: Hong Kong netizens reimagine illegal slogan as protesters find workarounds" (Hong Kong Free Press, 7/3/20)

The ultimate anti-censorship dodge:  holding up blank signs.

"Hong Kong activists are holding up blank signs because China now has the power to define pro-democracy slogans as terrorism", by (7/6/20).

It is impossible for the censors to keep up with the creativity and determination of the people who want to be free.

Selected readings

[h.t. Norman Leung and Mark Metcalf]


  1. Antonio L. Banderas said,

    July 7, 2020 @ 2:22 pm

    >gwong1 fuk6 hoeng1 gong2 si4 doi6 gaak3 ming6

    Why syllable by syllable instead of actuall words?

  2. Victor Mair said,

    July 7, 2020 @ 2:56 pm

    That's the way Jyutping does it — so far. I hope that someday they might change.

  3. John Swindle said,

    July 7, 2020 @ 10:15 pm

    Better 光復香港时代革命,with traditional character 復 rather than simplified character 复。Not because they use traditional characters in Hong Kong (although I gather that they mostly do), but because it makes sense of the second shape from the left on the top line.

  4. NSBK said,

    July 7, 2020 @ 10:20 pm

    I can "get" all of these geometric reductions except for the second character [复] being represented by a left-right pair of sub-blocks. Am I missing something obvious here?

  5. NSBK said,

    July 7, 2020 @ 10:23 pm

    @ John Swindle

    Ah, if I had just refreshed my browser window 5 minutes ago, I would have seen your post which answers the question I was asking.

  6. Victor Mair said,

    July 7, 2020 @ 10:25 pm

    @John Swindle and NSBK

    Thanks to both of you for pointing that out. I've changed 复 to 復 in the o.p.

  7. Sniffnoy said,

    July 8, 2020 @ 12:57 pm

    The blank signs… so the old Soviet joke is now true, but in Hong Kong…

    The joke, for those not familiar–

    A man is arrested by the KGB for handing out leaflets in Red Square. On bringing him in though, they find the leaflets are blank. "What is the meaning of this?! Why are they blank?!" they demand. The man replies, "What is there to write? It's all so obvious!"

  8. Victor Mair said,

    July 8, 2020 @ 1:53 pm

    Except that in Hong Kong it's not a joke. It's for real.

    But the meaning is the same.

  9. Siu Jiu said,

    July 9, 2020 @ 9:46 pm

    Even more variants:

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