The videos circulating online are from different parts of Hong Kong, but have the same theme: residents voluntarily clearing streets of barricades set up by protesters to block traffic. In one, a man steps onto a road to pick up bricks and others silently follow his lead. Soon, a path is cleared and to the applause of onlookers, cars and buses are passing by again. This is the famed Hong Kong spirit in action, the unswerving love for the city that time and again has helped it overcome adversity. Protesters want to bring Hong Kong to a standstill to force the government’s hand. The roadblocks made of bricks torn from streets and footpaths, metal railings, garbage bins and whatever else can be found, create havoc for commuters and delivery trucks. Neighbourhoods near university campuses have been especially hard hit, students being a driving force of the activism and the grounds a refuge for radicals. Hong Kong residents turn out in force to clear protesters’ roadblocks Residents have stoically persevered, finding other ways to go about their business. But everyone has their limit, particularly when the government has seemed paralysed as to how to respond. People across the city have started taking matters into their own hands, social media campaigns sometimes motivating them into action. Videos and photos abound from Pok Fu Lam to Sha Tin, Kowloon Tong, Mong Kok, Tin Shui Wai, Sai Wan Ho and other areas where trouble has occurred of people clearing streets of debris. At times, they have braved the wrath of protesters trying to prevent their efforts, being forced to dodge petrol bombs and bricks thrown at them. Six months of protests, violence and vandalism have stretched Hong Kong’s resources and patience. Many people want order restored. There is nothing especially extraordinary about their volunteerism; we have seen it after typhoons and whenever people are in need. It is the unseen energy of Hong Kong, the drive required to weather the chaos that the protests have brought. As a gesture of support, Chinese soldiers appeared in shorts and T-shirts outside their barracks in Kowloon Tong to help volunteers clear a rubbish-strewn road. All were working to bring the city back to normal. It is evidence that the spirit of Hong Kong is alive and well.