Local activist Christina Chan and I made peaceful protests at the 2008 Hong Kong Olympic Torch Rally. Along with over 20 other demonstrators, we were prevented from reaching the sidelines as the torch went past and were illegally detained by police who claimed our forced removal was for our ‘own protection’. Those trying to attack us were not arrested. ‘The Basic Law’, Hong Kong’s mini-constitution, guarantees freedom of speech for all and obliges the police to ‘enable’ and ‘facilitate’ protest. Whilst our plight does not compare to the human rights violations we were protesting against, the infringement of these civil liberties in Hong Kong is emblematic of the gradual erosion of freedoms by the Central Government in Beijing.