•   
  •   
  •   

WorldHong Kong police move to forcibly clear protesters occupying legislature complex

01:30  02 july  2019
01:30  02 july  2019 Source:   washingtonpost.com

In China's shadow, Hong Kong protesters fear leaving digital footprint

In China's shadow, Hong Kong protesters fear leaving digital footprint "Everyone is in deep fear of having their own identity exposed," one demonstrator said.

HONG KONG — Police used force early Tuesday to clear thousands of protesters in and around Hong Kong ’s legislative building after some broke in and occupied it Monday, the 22nd anniversary of the semiautonomous city’s return to Chinese rule. The escalation has brought Hong Kong into

Tensions continue to run high in Hong Kong after weeks of protests against Beijing’s involvement in the semiautonomous territory’s affairs.

HONG KONG —Police used force early Tuesday to clear thousands of protesters in and around Hong Kong’s legislature after some broke into the complex and occupied it Monday, the 22nd anniversary of the semiautonomous city’s return to Chinese rule.

The escalation has brought Hong Kong into unprecedented and uncertain territory, and represents the biggest test of Beijing’s grip over the global financial hub and the status under which it operates.

Police arrest 70 climate change protesters outside New York Times

Police arrest 70 climate change protesters outside New York Times Police arrest 70 climate change protesters outside New York Times

HONG KONG – Police used force early Tuesday to clear thousands of protesters in and around Hong Kong ’s legislative building after some broke in and Officers then retook the complex , stopping and frisking those who remained nearby. More than 500,000 demonstrators marched peacefully across

HONG KONG — Police used force early Tuesday to clear thousands of protesters in and around Hong Kong ’s legislature after some broke into the complex and occupied it Monday, the 22nd anniversary of the semiautonomous city’s return to Chinese rule. The escalation has brought Hong

Protesters on Monday smashed their way through metal barricades and glass doors surrounding Hong Kong’s Legislative Council. As they wrote graffiti on walls, tore down portraits of pro-Beijing officials and emptied rooms of chairs and desks, the mostly young protesters escalated weeks of tensions and massive demonstrations here to a new level.

The demonstrators occupying the complex penned a declaration that included a call for overthrowing the “puppet Legislative Council and the Government,” and they vowed to stay. But just after midnight Tuesday, police equipped with riot shields, tear gas and other projectiles began ejecting protesters from streets surrounding the complex, sending them fleeing. Police then retook the complex, stopping and frisking the young protesters who remained nearby.

Fresh rallies in Hong Kong as protesters defy extradition bill

Fresh rallies in Hong Kong as protesters defy extradition bill Hundreds of demonstrators rallied on Thursday outside the office of Hong Kong's justice secretary after another night of protests over a suspended extradition bill that has plunged the Chinese-ruled city into political crisis. Millions have thronged the streets in the past three weeks to demand the bill, which would allow criminal suspects to be sent to the mainland for trial in courts controlled by the Chinese Communist Party, be scrapped. "Withdraw evil law, release martyrs...

A protester defaces the Hong Kong emblem in the Legislative Council chamber. A government in retreat, protesters out in force on the streets and violent clashes between police and radical activists who stormed the legislature and took over the chamber for the first time in history – Hong Kong was

Hong Kong police move to forcibly clear protesters occupying legislature complex . HONG KONG — Police used force early Tuesday to clear thousands of protesters in and around Hong Kong 's legislative building after some broke in and

More than 500,000 demonstrators, meanwhile, marched peacefully across the city Monday and forced major thoroughfares to shut down.

The scenes of defiance were the latest indication that anger here, sparked by plans to allow extraditions to China but now incorporating broader concerns about Hong Kong’s autonomy and Beijing’s influence, will not be easily quelled.

The protesters smashed shutters, broke windows and ripped down metal fencing around the Legislative Council, eventually forcing their way into the building. Protesters repeatedly tried to slam against metal shutters and pry them open as riot police stood guard.

Hong Kong police move to forcibly clear protesters occupying legislature complex
Hong Kong police move to forcibly clear protesters occupying legislature complex
Hong Kong police move to forcibly clear protesters occupying legislature complex
Hong Kong police move to forcibly clear protesters occupying legislature complex
Hong Kong police move to forcibly clear protesters occupying legislature complex
Hong Kong police move to forcibly clear protesters occupying legislature complex
Hong Kong police move to forcibly clear protesters occupying legislature complex
Hong Kong police move to forcibly clear protesters occupying legislature complex
Hong Kong police move to forcibly clear protesters occupying legislature complex
Hong Kong police move to forcibly clear protesters occupying legislature complex
Hong Kong police move to forcibly clear protesters occupying legislature complex
Hong Kong police move to forcibly clear protesters occupying legislature complex
Hong Kong police move to forcibly clear protesters occupying legislature complex
Hong Kong police move to forcibly clear protesters occupying legislature complex
Hong Kong police move to forcibly clear protesters occupying legislature complex
Hong Kong police move to forcibly clear protesters occupying legislature complex
Hong Kong police move to forcibly clear protesters occupying legislature complex
Hong Kong police move to forcibly clear protesters occupying legislature complex
Hong Kong police move to forcibly clear protesters occupying legislature complex
Hong Kong police move to forcibly clear protesters occupying legislature complex
Hong Kong police move to forcibly clear protesters occupying legislature complex
Hong Kong police move to forcibly clear protesters occupying legislature complex
Hong Kong police move to forcibly clear protesters occupying legislature complex
Hong Kong police move to forcibly clear protesters occupying legislature complex
Hong Kong police move to forcibly clear protesters occupying legislature complex
Hong Kong police move to forcibly clear protesters occupying legislature complex
Hong Kong police move to forcibly clear protesters occupying legislature complex
Hong Kong police move to forcibly clear protesters occupying legislature complex
Hong Kong police move to forcibly clear protesters occupying legislature complex
Hong Kong police move to forcibly clear protesters occupying legislature complex
Hong Kong police move to forcibly clear protesters occupying legislature complex
Hong Kong police move to forcibly clear protesters occupying legislature complex
Hong Kong police move to forcibly clear protesters occupying legislature complex
Hong Kong police move to forcibly clear protesters occupying legislature complex
Hong Kong police move to forcibly clear protesters occupying legislature complex
Hong Kong police move to forcibly clear protesters occupying legislature complex
Hong Kong police move to forcibly clear protesters occupying legislature complex
Hong Kong police move to forcibly clear protesters occupying legislature complex
Hong Kong police move to forcibly clear protesters occupying legislature complex
Hong Kong police move to forcibly clear protesters occupying legislature complex
Hong Kong police move to forcibly clear protesters occupying legislature complex
Hong Kong police move to forcibly clear protesters occupying legislature complex
Hong Kong police move to forcibly clear protesters occupying legislature complex
Hong Kong police move to forcibly clear protesters occupying legislature complex
Hong Kong police move to forcibly clear protesters occupying legislature complex
Hong Kong police move to forcibly clear protesters occupying legislature complex
Hong Kong police move to forcibly clear protesters occupying legislature complex
Hong Kong police move to forcibly clear protesters occupying legislature complex
Hong Kong police move to forcibly clear protesters occupying legislature complex
Hong Kong police move to forcibly clear protesters occupying legislature complex
Hong Kong police move to forcibly clear protesters occupying legislature complex
Hong Kong police move to forcibly clear protesters occupying legislature complex
Hong Kong police move to forcibly clear protesters occupying legislature complex
Hong Kong police move to forcibly clear protesters occupying legislature complex
Hong Kong police move to forcibly clear protesters occupying legislature complex
Hong Kong police move to forcibly clear protesters occupying legislature complex
Hong Kong police move to forcibly clear protesters occupying legislature complex

Slideshow by photo services

At some point during the night, police appeared to vacate their posts. By 9:30 p.m., dozens of demonstrators wearing yellow hard hats and carrying umbrellas—a symbol of 2014 pro-democracy protests—had entered the building and were roaming the complex. They spray-painted wood-paneled walls with graffiti cursing the Hong Kong government and tore down posters of pro-Beijing officials. Outside, protesters cheered as more windows and doors were smashed open.

Later Monday night, police said the building was “violently attacked” and “illegally entered.” In a tweet, they warned that they would conduct a sweep with “reasonable force” and urged people to leave the area.

The Hong Kong government condemned the “violent acts” as the work of “radical protesters.” At a 4 a.m. news conference with the city’s police chief, Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam criticized protesters for vandalizing the legislature and said she hoped society would return to normal.

Protesters, however, vowed to return.

“Unless universal suffrage and a just election system are in place, we shall never stand down,” they said in a statement.

Monday’s chaotic demonstrations came on a day when the territory’s return to Beijing is officially celebrated.

Before dawn, riot police and hundreds of protesters gathered on roads leading to a square where the Hong Kong and Chinese flags were set to be raised. The ceremony, which was attended by Hong Kong leaders and dignitaries including Lam, was moved indoors as crowds of protesters gathered. Officials said the event, which has never been held indoors, was moved because of “inclement weather.”

As helicopters carrying the flags flew over, protesters on the streets below waved middle fingers at them. Earlier in the morning, protesters had replaced a Chinese flag with a black flag featuring a withered Bauhinia flower, a riff on the Hong Kong flag. That flag was still flying on Monday night.

Hospitals and police have not confirmed the number of injuries from the clashes. Police said in a statement that protesters earlier Monday had pelted officers with objects containing an “unknown liquid,” which made their skin swollen and itchy. Thirteen officers were treated at hospital and discharged.

Hong Kong police move to forcibly clear protesters occupying legislature complex A map locating Hong Kong

In recent years, the July 1 the anniversary of the 1997 handover of sovereignty has been marked by marches featuring hundreds of thousands of people who want to uphold Hong Kong’s unique status, democratic characteristics and relative freedoms compared with mainland China.

But after weeks of spiraling tensions in the territory, Monday’s protests took on a different flavor. In the face of an increasingly assertive Beijing, protesters saw the occasion as their final chance for a massive stand against a government they believe is not working in their interests.

“We are exhausted,” said a 22-year-old protester who did not want to give his name for fear of retribution from authorities. “But today’s march is special. We think it will be the last one that people will come out [to] on a large scale. We have to show our disappointment and anger.”

An hour into the planned afternoon march, police sent out a warning, discouraging people from joining the procession.

“Police absolutely respect people’s freedom of assembly, procession and expression of opinion in a peaceful and orderly manner,” the statement said. “However, Police’s risk assessment indicates that there is a serious safety threat”.

Yet, demonstrators turned up in the tens of thousands, filling Hong Kong’s main roads with a swell of shuffling people once again. Some in the march — the elderly, parents with children — broke off to join the young protesters gathered on Harcourt Road, the main city thoroughfare that they have taken over several times over the past month.

They carried signs that read: “We Shall Never Surrender” and “Hong Kong is Resilient.”

Lam has postponed the extradition plans, but demonstrators have continued to return to the streets in rallies like Monday’s — the revival of a pro-democracy movement that is now advocating for a freer Hong Kong, for Lam to step down and for police to be investigated for their handling of the street protests, among other demands.

Hong Kong police move to forcibly clear protesters occupying legislature complex© Jacky Cheung/AP Hong Kong’s chief executive Carrie Lam, second from right, toasts with former chief executives Tung Chee-hwa, third from left, and Leung Chun-ying, second from left, during an indoor ceremony Monday marking the anniversary of the handover.

The protests were once again marked by a high degree of organization. Participants set up first aid, water and food stations, and used hand signals to indicate police mobilization or use of pepper spray. Demonstrators urged each other and members of the public not to take photos of the crowd to ensure their anonymity.

As protesters attempted for hours to storm the legislative building, human chains passed supplies including umbrellas, gloves, helmets and protective masks to assist their efforts.

More than 80 people were injured in a clash between police and protesters in mid-June, drawing the ire of many in Hong Kong who turned up at a large rally days later to denounce what they consider police brutality against young students.

Police appeared initially restrained on Monday by contrast.

Inside a convention center where the anniversary ceremony was held in the morning, Lam, flanked by Hong Kong and Chinese officials, raised a glass of champagne to mark the occasion. At a reception that followed, she said she had reflected on the disputes and that she understands “the need to grasp public sentiments accurately.”

“After this incident, I will learn the lessons and ensure that the government’s future work will be closer and more responsive to the aspirations, sentiments and opinions of the community,” she said. Work to make Hong Kong’s governance “more open and accommodating” will start immediately, she added.

She has not indicated that she would step down or fully withdraw the extradition plans. Analysts and some in her government say she has angered Beijing by misjudging the widespread and vociferous opposition to the extradition bill.

Others, however, also have marched to back the police. On Sunday, thousands of demonstrators showed up in support of the Hong Kong police and expressed appreciation for their efforts in managing the civil disobedience in recent weeks.

In mainland China, there was no mention of Monday’s protests on social media. State media played up news of Sunday’s pro-police rally and highlighted official celebrations of the anniversary of Hong Kong’s return.

On several prior occasions, protesters surrounded and blocked off the police headquarters, threw eggs at the building and spray-painted surveillance cameras.

Pro-democracy protesters believe that Hong Kong’s relative autonomy, which is guaranteed under the “one country, two systems” framework, is at stake. Many here want Hong Kong to be able to pick its own leader and to abolish the current system in which chief executives such as Lam are selected by a committee, out of a small pool of candidates handpicked by Beijing.

Lam, speaking Monday, said Hong Kong is “backed by the motherland and open to the world” and has benefited from the “one country, two systems” framework.

“I and the [Hong Kong] government will double our efforts to restore people’s confidence and get Hong Kong off to a new start,” she added.

The 22-year-old protester, however, scoffed at Lam’s comments, dismissing her as a pawn of Beijing.

“She has not responded to us, or learned how to engage with us,” he said.

shibani.mahtani@washpost.com

Yuan Wang in Beijing contributed to this report.

Read More

‘Give Us a Chance,’ Hong Kong’s Leader Appeals to the Public, Saying Extradition Bill is Dead.
Hong Kong’s embattled leader urged the public on Tuesday to give her administration a chance to repair the damage caused by an unpopular extradition bill as she sought to assuage public anger that has driven several huge protests and the storming of the city’s legislature in the past month. Carrie Lam, the city’s top official, told reporters that she was aware that despite suspending the contentious legislation that would have allowed extraditions to mainland China, protesters were still concerned the government would revive efforts to pass the bill.

Topical videos:

usr: 1
This is interesting!