Thousands of people held hands across Hong Kong late Friday in a dazzling, neon-framed recreation of a pro-democracy "Baltic Way" protest against Soviet rule three decades ago.
The city's skyscraper-studded harbourfront as well as several busy shopping districts were lined with peaceful protesters, many wearing surgical masks to hide their identity and holding Hong Kong flags or mobile phones with lights shining.
The human chain is the latest creative demonstration in nearly three months of rolling protests which have tipped Hong Kong into an unprecedented political crisis.
"We have tried traditional marches, we have tried more militant acts -- although I don't agree with them -- this time we are coming out together to join hands and show that we are all still united," said Wing, who gave only her first name.
The protests started against a bill that would have allowed extradition to China, but have transformed into a wider rejection of Beijing's increasingly tight grip on the semi-autonomous city.
"By doing this, we are showing people around the world the high quality of Hong Kongers. What people did 30 years ago, we can also do," said Cat Law, a logistic worker in her 60s.
The Baltic Way was one of the largest ever anti-Soviet demonstrations, when more than one million people linked hands to form a human chain spanning over 600 kilometres (370 miles) on August 23, 1989.
Three decades on, the moving show of solidarity continues to inspire activists across the world.
The "Hong Kong Way" was called by the social media-driven protesters who have turned for the last several days to non-violent means of making their voice heard.
Protesters young and old chanted "Free Hong Kong" as well as the protest rallying cry "Hong Kong, add oil", while hand sanitiser was passed along the chains in the famously fastidious city.
Protests had slipped into violence, with running street clashes between police and a minority of hardcore demonstrators bringing chaos to a city normally associated with safety and stability.