Hong Kong anti-government protesters have stormed the city’s legislature after breaking glass doors and prying open gates at the rear.
Anti-extradition law demonstrators had been ramming doors and windows around the complex since Monday afternoon, despite warnings from police in riot gear that they may face arrest.
Officers appeared to retreat deeper into the building after protesters entered, smashing through a metal shutter.
Protesters inside the legislature spray painted the walls with graffiti, reading “[Chief Executive] Carrie Lam step down,” “the government forced us to revolt” and “Oppose Chinese colonialism,” among other slogans.
An unidentified liquid was thrown onto walls as barricades were carried into the complex by protesters.
Pictures of Legislative Council President Andrew Leung and former president Rita Fan were defaced.
Portraits of Andrew Wong and John Swaine – two presidents who served before the 1997 Handover remained untouched, as did a picture of Jasper Tsang, who was president between 2008 and 2016.
Protesters eventually entered the main chamber of the building where the Hong Kong emblem was spray-painted black.
Meanwhile, huge crowds continue to swarm nearby Harcourt Road and Tim Mei Avenue, which remains occupied by thousands of demonstrators. Many, clad in black and white, joined after attending the annual July 1 pro-democracy rally.The storming of the legislature follows weeks of protest sparked by a controversial extradition bill, which would allow the chief executive and local courts to approve fugitive transfer requests without legislative oversight to jurisdictions where there are no such agreements – most notably, China.
The bill was suspended on June 15, but not axed. The protests have morphed into a wider public display of discontent over alleged police brutality against protesters, among calls for democracy and for Chief Executive Carrie Lam to resign.
More to follow.
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