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Human chain

From Academic Kids

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The 228 Hand-in-Hand Rally human chain was 500-km long.

A human chain is a form of demonstration in which people link their arms as a show of political solidarity.

The number of demonstrators involved in a human chain is often disputed; the organizers of the human chain often report higher numbers than governmental authorities.

Notable human chains, in chronological order, have included:


Date Event Location Number of participants Purpose
1983 Berkshire, England, United Kingdom 40,000-80,000 Protested siting of American nuclear missiles in West Germany.
August 23 1989 Baltic Way Estonia; Latvia; Lithuania 2,000,000 Called for independence for Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. Was followed by a similar chain in August 23, 1991, with people holding candles.
2000 Latin American Jubilee 2000 Germany 50,000 Called for debt forgiveness for developing nations.
February 28 2004 228 Hand-in-Hand Rally Keelung, Taiwan, to southern tip of Taiwan (500 kilometers or 300 miles) over 1,000,000 (over 2,000,000 according to organizers) Commemoration of the 228 Incident and protest of People's Republic of China missiles aimed at Taiwan.
July 25 2004 Israeli Chain Gush Katif (Jewish communities adjacent to the Gaza Strip, Israel), to the Western Wall, Jerusalem (90 kilometers) 130,000 (according to police); 200,000 (according to organizers) Opposing Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's Disengagement Plan which involves dismantling of Jewish communities and settlements of Gush Katif.

A human chain is a method for transporting items where a string of static people pass the items to the next person. The method is of course applicable only if the number of participants is sufficient compared to the distance to cross. This method generally maximalizes throughput. When used to transport water to douse a fire, it is commonly called a bucket brigade.

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