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About the book
  • Published: 6 February 2020
  • ISBN: 9780753554807
  • Imprint: Virgin Digital
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 288

Unfree Speech

The Threat to Global Democracy and Why We Must Act, Now




The urgent, first book from global phenomenon Joshua Wong – leader of the Hong Kong protests, Nobel prize nominee and TIME, Forbes and Fortune world leader – who will tell us how he took on the biggest country in the world, and why we all have a stake in the global fight for democracy.

An urgent manifesto for global democracy from Joshua Wong, the 22-year-old phenomenon leading Hong Kong’s protests - Nobel Peace Prize nominee and TIME, Forbes and Fortune world leader.

At what point do you stand up to power?

Aged 14, Joshua Wong made history. While the adults stayed silent, and China threatened to change their education policy, Joshua staged the first ever student protest in Hong Kong against the oppressive regime: and won.
Since then, Joshua has led the Umbrella Revolution in 2014 and now the ongoing Extradition Bill protests which are hitting our news headlines daily. His efforts have garnered him mass global news coverage, a Nobel Peace Prize nomination and over 100 days in jail.

Now, for the first time, this is Joshua’s story straight from the frontline of activism. Part-manifesto, part-memoir, Unfree Speech is Joshua’s powerful and urgent call for all of us to stand up for democracy, wherever we live. It is a rallying cry for all of us to rise up and fight together for our freedoms.

Hong Kong is the canary in the coal mine. When we stay silent, no-one is safe: when we free our speech, ‘they can’t stop all of us’.

  • Pub date: 6 February 2020
  • ISBN: 9780753554807
  • Imprint: Virgin Digital
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 288

About the Authors

Joshua Wong

Joshua Wong was born in 1996. He has been named by TIME, Fortune and Forbes as one of the world’s most influential leaders. In 2018 he was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize for his leading role in the Umbrella Revolution. He is Secretary-General of Demosisto, a pro-democracy organisation advocating self-determination for Hong Kong which he founded in 2016. Joshua came on to the political scene in 2011 aged 14, when he founded Scholarism and successfully protested against the enforcement of Chinese National Education in Hong Kong. He has been arrested by the Chinese state numerous times for his protesting and activism and has served over 100 days in jail. Unfree Speech is Joshua’s first book in English and his first published outside of Hong Kong.

Jason Y. Ng

Jason Y. Ng is a lawyer, activist, newspaper columnist, former president of PEN Hong Kong and author of three acclaimed books charting Hong Kong’s post-colonial development, HONG KONG State of Mind, No City for Slow Men, and Umbrellas in Bloom. Ng has covered Joshua Wong’s story since he founded Scholarism in 2012 and has become a personal friend. He continues to report on and advocate for Joshua’s cause.


Praise for Unfree Speech

“Joshua Wong is a brave and inspiring young leader. Together we are one loud voice that cannot be silenced.”

Greta Thunberg, climate change activist and bestselling author of No One Is Too Small to Make a Difference

“If we want freedom, we need to learn from Hong Kong. With values, tactics, and courage, Joshua Wong shows us the way.”

Timothy Snyder, historian and bestselling author of On Tyranny and The Road to Unfreedom

“Joshua Wong represents a new generation of rebel. All they require and demand is a single value: freedom.”

Ai Weiwei, artist and activist

“One of the most prominent political activists in the world ... a powerful insight into the turbulence on the city's streets that made world headlines”

Rana Mitter, The Sunday Times

“A call to arms for the Snapchat generation ... This book is a memoir of an extraordinary decade in which Wong went from a nerdy obsession with Marvel comics to a Netflix documentary in which he was characterised as a superhero for democracy.”

Tim Adams, The Observer (Book of the Week)


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