* * *
Update (0920ET): The situation in Hong Kong is rapidly escalating as SCMP reports that protesters have stormed into the Legislative Council, after hours of besieging the building, smashing glass doors and removing metal bars in a day of violence marking the 22nd anniversary of the city’s return to China.
— Jeffie Lam (@jeffielam) July 1, 2019
Police officers stationed at the side entrance have retreated.
Their actions were in stark contrast to peaceful rally of hundreds of thousands of Hongkongers dressed mostly in black who took part in the annual July 1 march, starting out from Victoria Park.
The big question is how long will authorities allow this to happen before the military is brought in to make a bad situation considerably worse?
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Just when local (Chinese-beholden) authorities thought it was safe to continue their totalitarian shift to the motherland, the citizens of Hong Kong are rising up once again.
Reuters reports that Hong Kong protesters stormed the Legislative Council on the anniversary of the city’s 1997 return to Chinese rule on Monday amid widespread anger over planned laws that would allow extraditions to China, plunging the city deeper into chaos.
“In the past few years, people have been getting more active, because they found the peaceful way is not working,” said a 24-year-old protester surnamed Chen.
A small group, mostly students wearing hard hats and masks, used a metal trolley, poles and pieces of scaffolding to hack through reinforced glass and charge at the government compound near the heart of the financial center.
Riot police in helmets and carrying batons fired pepper spray in response in a standoff that was lasting into the sweltering heat of the evening.
Tens of thousands marched in temperatures of around 33 degrees Celsius (91.4°F) from Victoria Park in an annual rally that organizers hoped would get a boost from the anger over the extradition bill.
A tired-looking Lam appeared in public for the first time in nearly two weeks, flanked by her husband and former Hong Kong leader Tung Chee-hwa.
“The incident that happened in recent months has led to controversies and disputes between the public and the government,” she said.
“This has made me fully realize that I, as a politician, have to remind myself all the time of the need to grasp public sentiment accurately.”
In a statement, a government spokesman has criticised demonstrators for storming “the Legislative Council with extremely violent methods, and destroying the glass door of the Legislative Council with offensive weapons such as an iron cart and iron poles”.
The statement said:
“The government strongly condemns it and expresses deep regret.
“Hong Kong is a society of the rule of law, and violence has never been accepted by society. Demonstrators who use violence must stop immediately, and the police will take appropriate law enforcement actions to ensure social order and public safety.”
More than a million people have taken to the streets at times over the past three weeks to vent their anger.
This article was chosen for republication based on the interest of our readers. Anti-Media republishes stories from a number of other independent news sources. The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not reflect Anti-Media editorial policy.
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