A review by sebby_reads
Freedom: How we lose it and how we fight back, by Evan Fowler, Nathan Law

hopeful informative inspiring reflective medium-paced


Freedom: How we lose it and how we fight back is written by Nathan Law, one of the student leaders in Hong Kong’s Umbrella Movement 2014. The book chronicled how he became an activist and his experiences as a politician as well as the threats of authoritarian acts towards HK and countries across the world by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).

The book is more than Nathan’s involvement in educational and political reforms. It is about Hong Kong’s continuous fight against CCP. After the transfer of sovereignty over Hong Kong, the political landscape has been changed significantly. Several pro-Beijing groups rooting in HK and taking the important seats. Years later, there were multiple violations of human rights done by HK government directed by CCP. HK’s political system got worsen and Hongkongners’ right for freedom is worryingly deteriorating.

In his book, Nathan emphasised more on the significance of freedom and how we should preserve it before it’s too late. And when it is endangered, why we must voice out and how we should fight for our freedom. He pointed out the rise of totalitarian governments in other countries and the threatening consequences encountered by nations across the globe. He discussed about the importance of rule of law and also to be aware of disinformation and division. He highlighted to believe in people and the power of change so that people can continue the resistance. CCP has fabricated lies that Nathan been funded or trained by the western countries. Leaving Hong Kong for safety isn’t betrayal. Activism works in various forms and regardless of your geographical location, what matters is to continue fighting for the cause you believe in. Works can be done more efficiently in safe and free environment.

This is the third book I read about Hong Kong Protests. Last year, I read Unfree Speech by Joshua Wong, Nathan’s fellow activist and City on Fire by Antony Dapiran. Both books talked about the history of Hong Kong and its unhealthy relationship with CCP and how the protests began. Nathan wrote this book with his friend Evan Fowler, also a Hong Kong native. Since it is about the same events in HK, some similarities can be found in all three books. Regardless, it is an important read as it helps you understand not just about Hong Kong and its sociopolitical issues, also about the rise of authoritarianism and its global threat. Equally, it is insightful and encouraging, as well. Their detailed and personal stories are heart-rending and at the same time, empowering.
Nathan Law was born into a working-class family who were initially from Shenzhen, China. When he was six years old, the family moved to HK where his father worked. He was a moderate student at school and not very involved in politics since the family was apolitical. When he was in secondary school, he learnt about the 1989. Tiananmen Square Massacre. Attending the annual vigil to commemorate the event was his first peaceful resistance. In his university, he joined Student Unions and later became committee member of Hong Kong Federation of Students (HKSF).

Nathan actively involved in 2014 Umbrella Movement and became one of the prominent student leaders fighting for HK’s electoral reform against Beijing Government. In 2016, he and other student leaders founded a new political party Demosistō. At the age of 23, he became the youngest-ever elected person to become a HK legislator. However, he and three other pro-democracy legislators were disqualified from the Legislative Council due to oath taking controversy,. In 2017, Nathan was jailed for his involvement in occupying Civic Square during 2014 protest. Upon his release, he tirelessly fought for the rights and safety for people of HK. When the new security law enacted by Beijing in mid 2020 threatened his life and his party leaders, he fled HK. In April 2021 he announced that he has been granted asylum in the UK. He continued to voice for Hong Kong and the future of Hongkongners.