The violence and protests in Hong Kong to free the city from China’s grasp escalated to a new point this weekend. Chief Executive of Hong Kong Carrie Lam invoked a British colonial-era emergency law that banned masks at public gatherings with a maximum penalty of one year in prison for wearing one. Masks have been frequently worn by protestors to hide their identities, and banning them is the first step in an increasingly heavy-handed government response. The situation has become unavoidable for citizens of Hong Kong, and many Cornellians have families involved or affected by the protests. The efficient subway shut down as an emergency measure to disrupt protests over the mask ban.