Jim McMahon/Mapman®

It might look like a rock concert, but this light show was a political demonstration that recently took place in Hong Kong, a region that’s technically part of China. Crowds of people flashed laser pointers to protest the arrest of a student leader who’d been carrying the devices. (Police there consider lasers to be weapons.) 

The event was part of a series of youth-led demonstrations that began in June, when millions of people gathered to oppose a bill, now on hold, that would allow criminal suspects to be transferred to mainland China. Many Hong Kong residents say the mainland’s judicial system is corrupt. 

A former British colony, Hong Kong was returned to China in 1997. It is largely self-governing. People there enjoy rights that those in mainland China do not, such as freedom of speech. But many Hong Kongers worry that China will soon take more control over the region.