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On 30th Anniversary Of Soviet Protest, Hong Kong Pro-Democracy Supporters Form Own 'Baltic Chain'

Pro-democracy protesters form a human chain in Hong Kong on August 23.

Inspired by a similar protest in the Baltic states 30 years ago, pro-democracy supporters in Hong Kong have linked hands across the semiautonomous Chinese territory in a show of solidarity after weeks of sometimes violent pro-democracy protests.

Participants created human chains tracing three subway routes on August 23, hoping it would stretch for 40 kilometers.

Organizers said it would "be a show of solidarity ... and a plea for international support."

On August 23, 1989, an estimated two million people joined arms across Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia in a protest against Soviet rule that became known as the "Baltic Way" or "Baltic Chain".

Protests in Hong Kong erupted eleven weeks ago with calls for the government to scrap an extradition bill.

Since then they have widened to include demands for full democracy and an independent probe into alleged police brutality at protests.

The protests have plunged the former British colony into its worst crisis since its return to China in 1997 and pose a major challenge for Communist Party rulers in Beijing.

Based on reporting by AFP, AP, and Reuters