- As it happened: Hong Kong police fire tear gas after protesters trash legislature
- READ: Hong Kong police retake parliament from anti-government protesters
- READ: Hong Kong leader condemns 'extremely violent' storming of parliament
- Hong Kong protesters cause havoc in parliament before police seize back control – ABC News
- Lam condemns 'violence' and 'vandalism'
- Calls for restraint
- Rallies have seen more than a million people on the streets
As it happened: Hong Kong police fire tear gas after protesters trash legislature
HONG KONG: Police fired tear gas and retook Hong Kong's government headquarters in the early hours of Tuesday (Jul 2) after hundreds of protesters stormed the parliament building on the anniversary of the city's 1997 return to China on Monday.
The protesters smashed through reinforced windows and steel shutters in unprecedented scenes that plunged the city further into crisis.
Occupying the building for about three hours, they destroyed portraits and defaced walls and furniture with graffiti as anger over a controversial extradition Bill boiled over.
READ: Hong Kong police retake parliament from anti-government protesters
3.50am: Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam condemned the “extremely violent” storming of the city’s parliament during a press conference in the early hours of Tuesday (Jul 2).
She added that Monday’s events were “heartbreaking and shocking” and hoped that society would “return to normal as soon as possible”.
Police chief Stephen Lo said protesters' violent acts “exceeded the bottom line of peaceful expressions of demands” and police officers “had no choice” but to retreat from the legislature, allowing protesters to briefly occupy it.
READ: Hong Kong leader condemns 'extremely violent' storming of parliament
1.07am: Hong Kong police take back control of the LegCo building from the protesters
Protesters had fled the building by the time riot police reached the sprawling government complex after firing tear gas rounds and baton-charging demonstrators in the streets outside.
Officers were able to walk into the ransacked main chamber without meeting any resistance. Only around two dozen reporters were left inside.
12.55am: HK police clearing roads around LegCo
12.40am: Police begin to enter LegCo building
After firing volleys of tear gas that sent groups of masked protesters running, police moved on the city's parliament.
The vast majority of protesters who had stormed it hours earlier had already left and officers encountered little resistance.
Some have ventured inside the building while other officers use wire cutters and other tools to remove barricades that demonstrators had thrown up around the building.
12.12am: Police fire tear gas at protesters near LegCo
Television footage shows police wearing gas masks and shields, charging demonstrators with their batons drawn, following warnings to the crowds of demonstrators who were camped out near the legislature.
Hong Kong police fired tear gas at protesters just after midnight on Jul 2, 2019. (Photo: Reuters)
Police fire tear gas at protesters near the government headquarters in Hong Kong on Jul 2, 2019. (Photo: AFP)
12.05am: Police arrive to clear the LegCo building
The police arrived by bus and ran into position as about a thousand gathered around the Legislative Council building. Video shows police with shields and batons facing off against protesters.
12.00am: Past midnight, protesters in the Hong Kong parliament appear to be leaving the building. They chant: “Leave together!” as many stream the chamber they have occupied for more than two hours.
11.40pm: There has been no immediate response from protesters to police warnings, although some appeared to retreat as the night wore on. Dozens remain inside the legislative chamber.
Here are the events earlier that have led to the current impasse:
11.28pm: A powder that was thrown at police officers earlier was toxic, and the police say they “severely condemn the protesters who used harmful powder to attack police officers”.
“Initial inspection by the Fire Services Department confirmed the unknown powder is slightly toxic and prolonged contact will lead to swollen and sensitive skin. Large amount of water is required to cleanse and decontaminate the substance,” police say. Two police officers were taken to hospital after touching the powder, and have been discharged after treatment and decontamination.
11.15pm: HK police have issued another warning that they will clear the LegCo, calling the protesters “rioters”.
In a statement on the HK government website, they said that they will “conduct dispersal action” in the vicinity of the Legislative Council Complex
“A group of rioters charged the Legislative Council Complex (Complex) today (July 1) and severely damaged the building and its facilities by mills barriers, iron poles and sundries. At around 9pm, the rioters vandalized the facilities after dashing into the Complex.
“Police severely condemn the rioters’ behavior of storming the Complex today. Owing to the violent activities of the rioters, Police warn that dispersal action will soon be taken in the vicinity of the Complex.
“Police will use appropriate level of force in case their actions are met with obstruction or resistance. Police also urge protesters to leave the vicinity of the Complex immediately.”
11.10pm: CNA's Roland Lim reports live from outside LegCo
11.04pm: UK support for Hong Kong and “its freedoms is unwavering”, says British Foreign Minister Jeremy Hunt.
The European Union also called for restraint and dialogue: “In the wake of these latest incidents, it is all the more important to exercise restraint, avoiding escalatory responses, and to engage in dialogue and consultation to find a way forward.”
10.46pm: Protesters seem to be staying in the LegCo despite a police warning. Here are scenes from inside the building after it was stormed by the demonstrators.
Police have said it will take “appropriate force” if the protesters do not clear the parliament building.
Protesters hold up a sign after they broke into the parliament chambers of the government headquarters in Hong Kong on Jul 1, 2019. (Photo: AFP/Vivek Prakash)
Protesters are seen inside a chamber after they broke into the Legislative Council building during the anniversary of Hong Kong's handover to China in Hong Kong, China July 1, 2019. REUTERS/Tyrone Siu
A person sprays paint over Hong Kong's coats of arms inside a chamber after protesters broke into the Legislative Council building on Jul 1, 2019 during the anniversary of Hong Kong's handover to China. (Photo: Reuters/Tyrone Siu)
Protesters break into the government headquarters in Hong Kong on July 1, 2019, on the 22nd anniversary of the city's handover from Britain to China. (Photo: AFP/Anthony Wallace)
Protesters break into the Legislative Council building during the anniversary of Hong Kong's handover to China in Hong Kong, China July 1, 2019 July 1, 2019. REUTERS/Stringer
10.35pm: Hong Kong police warn that they will take action if the LegCo is not cleared, in a video posted on :
10.25pm: The Hong Kong government has responded to the protests. Key points from its statement:
- In response to the procession today (July 1), a government spokesman noted that the procession was conducted in a peaceful and rational manner. “The Government always respects the public's freedoms and rights of assembly, procession and expression. It also understands that people have different views on Government policies. As a free and pluralistic society, Hong Kong embodies rationalism, inclusiveness, harmony and diversity. The people of Hong Kong are proud of such core values.”
- “The Government clearly understands that members of the public have concerns and doubts about the proposed amendments to the Fugitive Offenders Ordinance, and has put a stop to the legislative amendment exercise. The bill will lapse after the current term of the Legislative Council ends in July next year,” the spokesman said.
- “Today, some protesters confronted Police from morning until night. They charged Police cordon lines and disrupted public order, causing serious impact on public safety. This evening, some radical protesters stormed the Legislative Council Complex with extreme violence. These protesters seriously jeopardised the safety of police officers and members of the public. Such violent acts are unacceptable to society. The HKSAR Government strongly condemns such acts, and protesters should stop violent acts immediately.”
The full statement here.
10.15pm: Protesters are milling about inside the parliament chamber, destroying portraits and spraying graffiti.
9.56pm: The British colonial flag is tied to the parliament podium.
Protesters fix a British colonial flag to the parliament podium after they broke into the government headquarters in Hong Kong on Jul 1, 2019. (Photo: AFP/Vivek Prakash)
A British colonial flag is seen on the parliament podium while the emblem of Hong Kong is defaced, after protesters broke into the government headquarters in Hong Kong on Jul 1, 2019. (Photo: AFP/Vivek Prakash)
9.51pm: Protesters seize parliament chamber and spray walls and furniture with graffiti. The Hong Kong emblem is wise defaced.
A black and white banner hoisted in the chamber reads in Chinese: “Bow to protect rule of law. Oppose extradition.”
The Hong Kong emblem is seen defaced after protesters broke into the government headquarters in Hong Kong on Jul 1, 2019, on the 22nd anniversary of the city's handover from Britain to China. (Photo: AFP/Vivek Prakash)
9.30pm: Protesters break through glass doors and storm the LegCo building.
Hong Kong protesters cause havoc in parliament before police seize back control – ABC News
Hundreds of protesters have stormed Hong Kong's parliament, destroying pictures and daubing walls with graffiti on the anniversary of the city's 1997 return to Chinese rule.
- The clash is seen as one of the most violent to rock the city in decades
- Protesters are demanding Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam's resignation
- It is unclear if any arrests have been made
Protesters whacked away at thick glass windows until they shattered and then pried open steel security gates.
The three-hour occupation of the Legislative Council ended after police began firing tear gas shortly after midnight.
About a thousand protesters, furious at a proposed law allowing extraditions to China, were gathered around the building in the former British colony's financial district in a direct challenge to authorities in Beijing.
Protesters try to break into the Legislative Council building where riot police are seen.()
The day after the protest, a representative of China's Hong Kong affairs office labelled the actions of some protesters an “undisguised challenge” to the one country, two systems formula.
Pro-Beijing politicians in Hong Kong also condemned the damage done by the protesters.
Regina Ip, a former security secretary in the semi-autonomous territory, said such behaviour was not acceptable in “civilized society”.
She said there was nothing that could justify “the sort of violence we saw”.
Protesters held up umbrellas to protect themselves or fled, while plumes of smoke billowed across major thoroughfares and between skyscrapers.
Officers eventually entered the legislative chambers after protesters had already left. It was not clear if any arrests were made.
Most demonstrators had been cleared by the early hours of Tuesday morning after some of the most violent protests to rock the city in decades.
Protesters put up a Hong Kong colonial flag and defaced the Hong Kong logo at the Legislative Chamber.()
Umbrellas, metal barriers, hard hats, water bottles and other debris lay strewn across major roads.
Protesters had carried road signs, corrugated iron sheets and pieces of scaffolding as they barged into the council building.
Some sat at legislators' desks, checking their phones, while others scrawled “anti-extradition” on chamber walls.
Other graffiti called for Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam to step down, while pictures of some politicians were defaced.
Banners hanging over flyovers at the protest site read: “Free Hong Kong.”
Lam condemns 'violence' and 'vandalism'
Protesters defaced the Hong Kong emblem and posted political slogans inside the building.()
A small group of mostly students wearing hard hats and masks had used a metal trolley, poles and scaffolding to smash their way through the legislative compound's reinforced glass doors.
The protesters, some with cling film wrapped around their arms to protect them from tear gas, also paralysed parts of the Asian financial hub as they occupied roads after blocking them off with metal barriers.
The Government called for an immediate end to the violence, saying it had stopped work on amendments to the suspended extradition bill and that the legislation would automatically lapse in July next year.
The Legislative Council Secretariat released a statement cancelling business for today, as did the central government offices, which said they would close “owing to security consideration”.
Ms Lam called a 4:00am press conference the morning after the chaos, where she condemned the “violence” and “vandalism” of protesters who stormed the territory's legislature.
“This is something we should seriously condemn,” she said.
Ms Lam also said police, who initially retreated as protesters entered the parliament building, had exercised restraint in dealing with the demonstrations.
Police officers took control of the meeting hall of the Legislative Council in the early hours of Tuesday.()
Ms Lam suspended the extradition bill on June 15 but stopped short of protesters' demands to scrap it.
Hong Kong has been swept up in protests over a proposed extradition bill, but does China have a point about crime?
It was not immediately clear if the announcement would eventually ease the tension.
The Beijing-backed leader is clinging to her job amid an unprecedented backlash against the Government.
Opponents of the extradition bill, which would allow people to be sent to mainland China for trial in courts controlled by the Communist Party, fear it is a threat to Hong Kong's much-cherished rule of law.
The wave of discontent poses the greatest popular challenge to Chinese leader Xi Jinping since he came to power in 2012.
Calls for restraint
Hong Kong returned to China under a “one country, two systems” formula that allows freedoms not enjoyed in mainland China, including freedom to protest and an independent judiciary.
Beijing denies interfering but, for many Hong Kong residents, the extradition bill is the latest step in a relentless march towards mainland control.
A portrait of a former legislative leader was damaged after protesters broke into the Legislative Council building.()
China has been angered by criticism from Western capitals, including Washington and London, about the legislation.
Beijing said on Monday that Britain had no responsibility for Hong Kong any more and was opposed to its “gesticulating” about the territory.
The European Union on Monday called for restraint and dialogue to find a way forward.
Rallies have seen more than a million people on the streets
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Duration: 1 minute 7 seconds1m 7s
Protesters began breaking into the government's headquarters earlier in the day.
Monday's protests began with tens of thousands of people marching in temperatures of around 33 degrees Celsius from Victoria Park in an annual rally.
Organisers said 550,000 turned out but police said there were 190,000 at their peak.
More than a million people have taken to the streets at times over the past three weeks to vent their anger.
Ms Lam contrasted the earlier demonstration with the storming of the legislature, saying the two protests had shown “two entirely different public scenes”.
Pro-democracy politicians and the protest organiser said Ms Lam has ignored the demands of the people and pushed youngsters towards desperation, despite pledging to listen to people's demands.
Police inside Hong Kong's Legislative Council stand back after protesters smash through windows.()
Posted 1 JulJuly 2019MonMonday 1 JulJuly 2019 at 7:32pm, updated 2 JulJuly 2019TueTuesday 2 JulJuly 2019 at 5:58am