Democracy darkens: Hong Kong activists reel from Chinese moves

For her 23rd birthday this year, Wong posted a photo of herself on Instagram wearing a pastel-striped paper hat trimmed with pink pompoms. She has a slight smile on her face as she looks down at her birthday cake, a moment of celebration at odds with her words below: “There are great sorrows in life that cannot be washed away with tears. Is life always so painful? Or is it only when I was young?”

On a recent day, Wong spun a gold ring on her finger in continuous circles as she spoke quietly about the past year of her life. It has been a year filled with disappointment and dread.

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