Brian Kern

Liberate Hong Kong

Liberate Hong Kong takes readers to the heart of the protest movement in Hong Kong, inside the networks of demonstrators in neighbourhoods long ignored by those who rule over the city. It tells the stories of the people of Hong Kong — the shopkeepers, musicians, young radicals to middle-aged moderates — who have led the way in demanding universal suffrage and freedom from control by the Chinese Communist Party.

"Among protesters, a cardinal rule was, you never leave anyone behind. Because I was older and less of a police target than the younger protesters, my role was often to remain until last to make sure everyone got out."

Stories from the freedom struggle

£12.99 | 288 pages
978-1-7394243-2-9 | Paperback

This riveting first-hand narrative of the Hong Kong protests in 2019 and 2020 reminds us of what we’ve all lived through. It’s a brilliant first draft of the history that will continue to haunt Hongkongers for years to come.”

Jeffrey C. H. Ngo, Georgetown University

Brian Kern’s account is an absolute must-read for anyone interested in the 2019 protests. The brave people of Hong Kong put up fierce resistance against an oppressive regime, never backing down despite harsh reprisals. Their resilience and adaptability in the face of adversity are truly remarkable, and the book is a powerful reminder of their on-going struggle at a time when the Communist Party seeks to erase Hong Kong’s history.”

Alex Chow, Umbrella Movement leader and Hong Kong diaspora activist

"As the Chinese Communist Party seeks to falsify Hong Kong’s history, Brian Kern’s book painstakingly preserves vivid snapshots of the city’s shared memories. The world often speaks of the million-strong marches; this book reminds us of the lived experience of each of those millions, portraying their full humanity and heroism at this pivotal moment in Hong Kong history as they fight for the freedom and democracy that one day will be ours."

Anna Kwok, Executive Director, Hong Kong Democracy Council

"This is an extraordinarily comprehensive and interesting account of the demonstrations in Hong Kong in favour of that city’s continued existence as a free society under the Rule of Law. The author provides a fascinating insiders look at what has happened which will be a defining issue for China's place in the twenty-first century."

Chris Patten, the last British governor of Hong Kong

“If you want to understand the raw mix of human emotions, frailties, soaring courage, definite weaknesses, real temptations and immense challenges that a struggle for freedom against tyranny entails, read this brilliant, captivating and inspiring book.”

Benedict Rogers, founder and Chair of Hong Kong Watch

Liberate Hong Kong often resembles oral history transcribed just after the fact, preserving the raw chaos and frenetic energy of the protests. Over the course of the seven months the book covers—from June 2019 to January 2020—we follow Kern as he marches in protests, evades police officers in alleyways, and gets tear-gassed and pepper-sprayed repeatedly...Read more

Joshua Yang, Los Angeles Review of Books


The author

Brian Kern is an American writer and activist. He has written two previous books on Hong Kong, Umbrella: A Political Tale from Hong Kong and As long as there is resistance, there is hope: Essays on the Hong Kong freedom struggle in the post-Umbrella Movement era, 2014-2018, under the pseudonym Kong Tsung-gan.