This essay explores how and why protestors from the 2019 anti-ELAB (Extradition Law Amendment Bill) movement turned to popular Chinese religious practice for political dissent, and simultaneously tracks the negotiation of emerging sociocultural identities of Hong Kongers in the face of political upheaval. Attempting to pressure the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region government into meeting their demands, protestors adopted a wide range of tactics that brought protest activities to previously unaffected residential districts. Although no less hectic than other months during the movement, August 2019 also produced indelible moments of nonviolent innovation that attracted international media coverage. One of the protest events from this fertile period, the Hong Kong–wide Night Assemblies for Freeing Spirits, Almsgiving, Prayers for Merit, and Removal of Evil 全港超幽佈施祈褔除惡晚會, was held on August 9, 2019, in the districts of Wong Tai Sin and Shatin and specifically centered religious practice as a creative and potent source of political expression. To better understand this intersection of religion, politics, and identity in Hong Kong, this article analyzes protestors’ ritual utterances and interview responses from the protest event's proceedings.

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