Over a million protesters took to the streets of Hong Kong
Police used force and tear gas to stop demonstrators on the way to the Legislative Council
/NOVOSTIVL/ Hundreds of protesters fought pitched battles with police outside Hong Kong’s legislature and administrative headquarters late into Sunday night and early Monday morning, bringing a violent end to a peaceful mass rally that drew historic numbers onto the streets to oppose the government’s controversial extradition bill. This article appeared in the South China Morning Post.
Officers and protesters suffered injuries, some needing hospital treatment, as police used batons and pepper spray to beat back a mob of masked demonstrators trying to storm the Legislative Council building.
Hundreds of protesters started gathering around the legislature after the main mass rally, which organisers claimed was joined by more than 1 million people, came to an end at around 10pm.
While a large police contingent guarded the compound, two pro-independence groups, Student Localism and the Students Independent Union, called on the protesters to stay after the rally and storm the legislature.
A 20-year-old protester, surnamed Cheng, had joined the march with five friends but lost contact with them in the melee.
"I’m concerned about them and about myself," he said. "But I’m even more concerned about the extradition bill".
Police chief Stephen Lo Wai-chung, meanwhile, visited three injured officers at Queen Mary Hospital in Pok Fu Lam at about 2.30am.
He strongly condemned the violence by protesters, who he said had damaged the tradition of peaceful demonstrations and vowed that the force would pursue all those who had taken part.