Hundreds of protesters on Monday forced their way into Hong Kong’s legislature, after besieging the building for hours.
This is the latest in a series of protests against a controversial bill that would allow extraditions to mainland China.
According to the BBC, the pro-democracy demonstrators early on Monday had taken to the streets on the anniversary of the city’s handover from the UK to Chinese rule to make other fresh demands outside the initial focus of the protest.
At the inception, the protest was focused on the withdrawal of proposed Fugitives Offenders and Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters Legislation (Amendment) Bill 2019 by the Hong Kong Government.
The bill will allow the transfer of fugitives from Hong Kong to China Mainland where citizens and foreign nationals passing through the city could fall victim of the Chinese legal system.
After a series of protests, the government has agreed to suspend the bill indefinitely, but rallies continue amid calls for Chief Executive Carrie Lam to resign.
“The movement is now beyond the bill,” said a man who identified himself as G. “It’s about the autonomy of Hong Kong.”
At the time of filing in this report, the mass protests in Hong Kong were being rapidly dispersed by hundreds of riot police, using tear gas and shields.
The protesters had issued 10 demands which they called the “Admiralty Declaration.” Among their demands are universal suffrage, the release of June 9 arrested protesters, the resignation of top officials involved in the extradition bill and an investigation into police brutality during the recent riots. The demands were read out in the Legislative Council chamber.
The series of protests against the Hong Kong extradition bill started in March, following paper submission of the Security Bureau to the city’s legislature. But the April 28 protest was reported to have gained momentum due to the estimated turnout of 130,000 protesters. This was a backdrop to a June 9 protest which called for the immediate withdrawal of the bill and the resignation of the Chief Executive Carrie Lam.
Ignoring the public demand, the government attempted a second reading of the bill which was countered by another massive turnout of protesters outside of the government headquarters on June 12.
This led to confrontational clashes between demonstrators and the police as the latter fired tear gas, beanbag rounds and rubber bullets indiscriminately at largely peaceful protesters and declared it as a riot.
Again on June 16, there were other massive demonstrations against the extradition bill as well as the police brutality, a day after Chief Executive Carrie Lam announced a pause in the passage of the extradition bill which was followed by a written apology to the public from her.