In the summer of 2019, Hong Kong-- former British colony, current special administrative region of the People's Republic of China-- was swept up by a large, sustained protest movement. The spark that lit this "revolution of our time" as protestors have deemed it was an extradition treaty with China, but quickly evolved into a broader movement for a more democratically representative government and autonomy from the People's Republic of China. In a stunning backlash against the movement, the PRC government announced they would unilaterally enact a sweeping national security law, quickly marking much of the previous year's protest movement illegal. In the past year, activists, lawyers, elected officials have been arrested and NGOs and media outlets shuttered at a dizzying pace, fundamentally altering the civic, legal, and cultural landscape of the city. Drawing upon Hong Kong's long history of grassroots activism-- and backlash against it-- from the early twentieth century through the present, this talk will offer a historical view of how protest became a cherished human right and a locus of popular power in Hong Kong, using this history to discuss the implications of the national security law on human rights in the city today.