Nathan Law - Hong Kong and the Price of Freedom | How To Academy

Mon, 29 November 2021

6:30 pm - 7:30 pm GMT

Nathan Law – Hong Kong and the Price of Freedom

In Conversation With Peter Frankopan

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Aged 23, Nathan Law became a global icon when he was elected to Hong Kong’s legislature on a pro-democracy mandate. Today he lives in London in a political asylum. This is his story.

Nathan Law has experienced first-hand the shocking speed with which our freedom can be take away from us, as an elected politician arrested simply for speaking his mind.

He remembers what it is like to lack freedom – hiding from the authorities as a child, and his father’s precarious three-day escape from China on a small raft.

When authoritarianism makes gains around the world, demanding our silence as the price of doing business, it poses a challenge to democracy everywhere.

As a student leader of the Umbrella Revolution, the democratic movement which brought the city to a standstill in 2014, and later a founder and elected legislator of the Demosistō party, he became a hero to millions across the globe who believe in the right to self-determination.

Jailed for his work as a pro-democracy activist, he now lives in London in asylum. In conversation with Oxford Professor and bestselling author of The New Silk Roads, Peter Frankopan, Law will argue that we must defend our freedom now or face losing it for ever. He will explore the ways in which freedom can be taken from us and, crucially, what can be done to uphold and protect democracy around the world.

He says: ‘By relating the fall of Hong Kong through my experience of activism, imprisonment and exile, and drawing on examples of similar struggles all over the world, I intend to illustrate how vital yet fragile freedom really is. The price of freedom is that we must constantly guard against injustice. It is like oxygen: we don’t notice it until we cannot breathe. Don’t take it for granted, and act now.’

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Nathan Law

Pro-Democracy Activist and Nobel Peace Prize Nominee

Nathan Law became Hong Kong’s youngest ever lawmaker in 2016 but was later deposed through the intervention of the Chinese Communist Party. He has since been nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize, and was named as one of the People of 2020 in both the Observer and TIME magazine. Nathan is also the key spokesperson for the Umbrella Movement in Hong Kong, speaking at global diplomatic conferences and teaching politics seminars as a visiting fellow at the University of Chicago.

Peter Frankopan

Professor of Global History, Oxford

Peter Frankopan is Professor of Global History at Oxford University and Senior Research Fellow at Worcester College, Oxford. The Silk Roads: A New History of the World, published by Bloomsbury in 2015, was a No. 1 Sunday Times bestseller and remained in the top 10 for nine months after publication. It was named one of the ‘Books of the Decade’ 2010-2020 by the Sunday Times. The New Silk Roads: The Present and Future of the World was published by Bloomsbury in 2018 and won the Human Sciences prize of the Carical Foundation in 2019.