The Guardian

The new Hong Kong, where activists vow to defy 'rule by fear'

Atmosphere in city has changed dramatically as newly imposed security laws loom large
People wait to vote in Hong Kong’s primary elections for pro-democracy parties, seen as a snub to Beijing’s new national security laws. China declared the polls illegal. Photograph: Willie Siau/SOPA Images/REX/Shutterstock

Everything looked as though it was business as usual in Causeway Bay, Hong Kong’s bustling shopping district.

Amid swathes of shoppers, flags emblazoned with images of pro-democracy politicians fluttered in the hot summer air. Politicians yelled into microphones, urging people to vote for them in an unofficial poll to choose candidates to run in the Legislative Council (LegCo) election in September.

But a closer inspection of the scene on Saturday afternoon showed things were not quite the same as before.

Gone from the streets were the anti-government banners and graffiti. The wall outside a small tea shop that used to be covered in colourful sticky notes with protest slogans

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