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Finding Hope and Power in the Ideological Battlegrounds of the 21st Century: Copenhagen Democracy Summit

This blog is authored by Chloe Cheung, she is the Communications and Media Assistant for the Committee for Freedom in Hong Kong Foundation.

The world is in chaos, a tumultuous stage where the echoes of unrest reverberate across continents. Regions like Hong Kong, Ukraine, and Syria stand as testaments to the complexities of global conflict and suffering. In Hong Kong, the fight for democracy collides with authoritarian repression, leaving a city divided, with more than 1800 political prisoners, and its people either exiling or silently yearning for freedom as they fear arrest. In Ukraine, with the ongoing invasion by Russia, Volodymyr Zelensky stated in February that 31,000 Ukrainian soldiers have been killed, according to the BBC, and there seems to be no end in sight. Meanwhile, in Syria, the relentless brutality of civil war has entered its 14th year, displacing millions, devastating cities, and leaving a scarred landscape in its wake. These crises draw the attention of the world to nations torn apart by geopolitical ambitions. But how can we save these places and end the tragedy?


I was initially struck by the pervasive sense of self-interest that dominates much of our discourse, particularly concerning economic matters. It's disheartening to witness how easily we overlook the suffering of others, turning a blind eye to the plight of those in distant corners of the world. Yet, the Copenhagen Democracy Summit offered a different narrative—a narrative of unity, solidarity, and unwavering commitment to the greater good.


I am glad to have participated in the Copenhagen Summit as a Hong Kong activist. Interacting with activists from diverse backgrounds further underscored the universality of our struggle. Stories of courage and perseverance echoed through the halls of the summit, reinforcing the notion that the fight for freedom knows no borders. From Russia to Syria to Cambodia and beyond, each voice added to the chorus of resilience against oppression and injustice.


The energy and straightforward goals of the activists were invigorating, and it is rewarding to have the opportunity to connect with like-minded individuals from around the world, share ideas, and work towards common goals. Having conversations about mutual support and collaboration served as a poignant reminder that, despite our diverse backgrounds, our shared goals unite us in a powerful network of solidarity. This unity is essential in our ideological war against authoritarianism and in our pursuit of democratic values.


In this ideological war, it is easy to become disheartened by the enormity of the challenges we face. Authoritarian regimes often appear strong and unshakable, with leaders who seemingly hold power indefinitely. However, for those of us who believe in democracy, we must maintain faith that through unity and preparation, we can bring down these regimes.


My time in Copenhagen has filled me with hope for the future of activism and democracy worldwide. This trip has been one of the most enriching experiences of my activism journey, and I am profoundly grateful for the opportunity to participate. It has not only fortified my resolve but also instilled a renewed sense of hope for the future.


Thank you to all who strive for a better world and relentlessly fight for democracy. I know it's not easy, but together, we must persist in our battle for a more just and democratic world. And deep within my heart, I believe: Hong Kong will be free.

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