Unprecedented protests in Hong Kong and Moscow: How to unleash the power of true community

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Protestors at Hong Kong International Airport on Monday, Aug. 12, 2019

Hong Kong International Airport has canceled all remaining departing flights for the second day after thousands of pro-democracy protesters blocked the terminals. “Protesting in the airport is the best way to tell the world what’s happening in Hong Kong,” according to a sixteen-year-old who handed out flyers to travelers alleging police brutality.

Demonstrators say they are protesting the erosion of the “one country, two systems” arrangement that was enacted when Hong Kong reverted to Chinese control in 1997. Uprisings started ten weeks ago over a bill that would have allowed China to extradite Hong Kong citizens to face trial in Communist courts. It has since broadened into demands for more democratic reforms. Protesters have blocked trains and staged airport strikes, rallies, and marches. 

Meanwhile, nearly fifty thousand people flooded Moscow over the weekend to demand an end to political controls under President Vladimir Putin and to stand up against police violence. This is the largest protest movement in Moscow in years and comes as Mr. Putin’s support has fallen to multiyear lows. 

Is our culture at war with community? 

There is enormous power in community. 

The return of Col. Roy Knight Jr.’s remains to Dallas on an airplane flown by his son engendered an airport-wide show of support that even made the New York Times. Mass protests led to the fall of the Berlin Wall and sweeping democratic reforms in Eastern Europe. Whether for bad or for good, the force generated by people working together to advance a common agenda is undeniable. 

Why, then, is our culture undermining community at a time when we need it most? 

As American society has turned from biblical sexuality and marriage, we have seen a rapid fragmentation of the family. The number of unmarried parents has increased fourfold since 1968; the number of births to unmarried…

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