The Other China Emergency

HONG KONG—Well before police surrounded Jackie Chen, pepper-sprayed her face, and led her away with wrists tied, she was a fixture of Hong Kong’s era of dissent. For weeks, she had cautioned officers at demonstrations to let protesters gather in peace, and give people time and space to disperse safely. The social worker, along with her colleagues, acted as witness, counselor, and referee as angry Hong Kongers and police officers faced off, a portable microphone in her hand throughout.