Human chain

For the Seamus Heaney collection, see Human Chain (poetry).
Human chain at University of Dhaka on 13 December 2009 demanding trial for war criminal of 1971

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.

List of notable human chains

Date Event Location Number of participants Purpose
11 December 2004 'No Confidence' campaign to the BNP-led alliance government Teknaf to Tentulia, Bangladesh over 5 million people and 1,050 km (652.4 miles) long The partipants were supporters of 14 opposition parties led by the Bangladesh Awami League to express their 'No Confidence' campaign to the BNP-led alliance government and to demand fresh polls.[1]
October 2, 2009 Kerala CPM,
2009 ASEAN agreement Protest
Kerala, India 3,000,000 - 4,000,000+ (30 to 40 lakh according to estimates made by organizers before the protest) Protesting against the ASEAN and New Delhi free trade agreement[2]
October 1, 2015 Madhesh Human Chain[3] Mechi to Mahakali, Hulaki Rajmarg, Nepal. >1,500,000 The 2015 Human Chain for Madhesh Movement was an organised protest in Nepal for pressurizing the government of Nepal to withdraw the discriminatory policies being institutionalized in the constitution that came in effect on 20 September 2015. The Madheshis the residents and indigenous population of Madhesh, the southern plains of Nepal, created world record in creating 1155 km of human chain to draw attention of Nepal government.[4]
1983 Berkshire, England, United Kingdom 40,000 – 80,000 Protested siting of American nuclear missiles in West Germany.
May 25, 1986 Hands Across America Across United States 5,000,000 Charitable event to raise money to fight hunger.
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 on August 23, 1991, with people holding candles.
January 21, 1990 Reunion Day LvivKyiv, Ukrainian SSR (now Ukraine) 450,000 (according to Soviet militsiya); around 3,000,000 (according to organizers)[5] Marking the 71st anniversary of the Act Zluky, an agreement unifying the Ukrainian People's Republic and the West Ukrainian National Republic.
1997 XII World Youth Day, 1997 Paris, France 400,000 A 36 km ring surrounding Paris facing outwards, symbolically calling for peace.
16 May 1998 Jubilee 2000 Human Chain Birmingham, UK 70,000 – 100,000 The first Chain demonstration by Jubilee 2000, a coalition of church and faith groups, overseas development agencies and others at the G8 Summit in Birmingham, UK, to highlight the indebted poverty of many poor countries and the need for the G8, World Bank and IMF to act to remit that debt. The Chain surrounded Birmingham city center including the International Convention Center.
September 8, 1999 Protest against violence in East Timor Lisbon over 300,000 A 20 km ring connecting the United Nations delegation and the embassies of Russia, China, UK, France and the US in Lisbon, calling for the end of violence in East Timor.[6]
2000 Latin American Jubilee 2000 Germany 50,000 Called for debt forgiveness for developing nations.
February 28, 2004 228 Hand-in-Hand Rally Taiwan: from Keelung to Eluanbi (500 kilometers, 300 miles) over 1,000,000 (over 2,000,000 according to organizers) Commemoration of the February 28 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.
May 1, 2006 Great American Boycott New York City. (Manhattan, Queens, Brooklyn Bronx) 12,000 (according to CNN [7]) Protesting H.R. 4437, a bill in Congress to toughen immigration checks.
February 25, 2008 Gaza Chain Gaza 20,000 [8] Protesting Israeli blockade of Gaza
September 1, 2008 "Stop Russia" campaign[9] Georgia 1,000,000 (according to the Georgian authorities)[10] Protesting Russian military intervention
October 24, 2008 2009 Tamil protests in India[11] Chennai, India 100,000 – 150,000 Protesting the violence against Tamils in Sri Lanka and the Sri Lankan Civil War.
December 13, 2008 "Mumbai citizens form human chain to protest attacks"[12] Mumbai, India 60,000 Protesting Against the terror attacks that took place in Mumbai on the 26th of November 2008
January 28, 2009 2009 Tamil protests in Canada[13] Toronto, Canada 20,000 Protesting the violence against Tamils in Sri Lanka and the Sri Lankan Civil War.
June 9, 2009 Green Chain, Iran's Presidential Election
2009 Iranian Election Protests
Tehran, Iran 18,000 – 30,000 In support of Mir-Hossein Mousavi[14][15]
February 3, 2010 Telangana JAC,
Telangana Human Chain
Andhra Pradesh, India 50,000 The people of Telangana formed a 500 kilometers-long human chain all along the National Highway number 7 from Adilabad on the northernmost tip of the region to Alampur on the borders of Kurnool district, to press their demand for forming a separate state.[16]
December 10, 2012 Human Chain for Human Rights. Bhubaneswar, Odisha, India 20,000 tribal students. 25 km long Human chain formed for Human Rights on Human Rights Day on December 10, 2012 by 20,000 tribal students of Kalinga Institute of Social Science (KISS) in Bhubaneswar, Odisha, India .[17][18]
September 11, 2013 Catalan Way Towards Independence Throughout Catalonia 1,600,000[19] 480 km long Human chain organized by the Assemblea Nacional Catalana for the independence of Catalonia.[20]
November 29, 2013 Pro-European Union protests / Against Russian intervention Various, largest from Ukraine to Subcarpathian Voivodeship. Also Lithuania - Latvia. >2,000,000[21][22] Symbolic "linking" of Ukraine to the European Union[21]
June 8, 2014 Human Chain For The Right to Decide of the Basque Country Throughout Basque Country,[23] from Durango to Iruñea-Pamplona >150,000 123 km long Human chain organized by Gure Esku Dago for the Self-determination of the Basque Country.[23]


  2. IANS, Sep 30, 2009, 11.22am IST (2009-09-30). "CPM activists to form 500km human chain in Kerala to protest India, ASEAN free trade deal - India - The Times of India". The Times of India. Retrieved 2010-09-01.
  3. 2015 Madheshi Human Chain
  4. REPUBLICA. "My Republica - UDMF says it formed world's longest human chain to protest constitution". Retrieved 2015-10-04.
  5. Reunion of Ukraine (video) (Ukrainian)
  6. "Mundo".
  7. "Thousands march for immigrant rights - May 1, 2006". Retrieved 2010-09-01.
  9. Protesters wave the flag in 'Stop Russia' campaign. The Financial Times. 2008-09-01.
  10. Georgians stage mass protest. September 02, 2008.
  11. Rain highlights depth of emotions in Tamil Nadu. Tamil Net. 2008-10-24.
  12. Mumbai citizens form human chain to protest attacks. Times of India. 2008-12-13.
  13. Aulakh, Raveena (2009-01-28). "'They are killing innocent people'". Toronto: Retrieved 2010-09-01.
  14. . "20 Km Human Chain in Tehran-June 8th". YouTube. Retrieved 2010-09-01.
  15. "BBC فارسی - ايران - زنجیره انسانی ۲۵ کیلومتری حامیان موسوی در تهران". Retrieved 2010-09-01.
  16. "Pix: 'Longest human chain' formed for Telangana: News". 2010-02-03. Retrieved 2010-09-01.
  17. "25 km Human chain formed".
  18. "Human Chain Human Rights". Yahoo! News India.
  19. "1.600.000 persones, com a mínim" (in Catalan). 11 September 2013.
  20. "El recorregut de la cadena humana de l'Onze de Setembre ja és públic" (in Catalan). Vilaweb. Retrieved 1 July 2013.
  21. 1 2 Ukraine opposition demands leader resign after EU snub, Seven News (30 November 2013)
  22. "A human chain in Vilnius showed support of Ukraine". The Lithuania Tribune.
  23. 1 2 "Euskal kultura - News". Euskal kultura.
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