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Just before midnight in Hong Kong’s Mong Kok district, a slight man in his 70s peels away from a crowd of protesters jeering at police. Behind him, a young woman calls out, “Be safe!”

They make an improbable pair: she a smartly dressed 24-year-old; he an elderly activist who has for decades been sleeping on the streets of one of the wealthiest — and most unequal — cities on Earth.

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