Police clashed with protesters in Hong Kong after protesting the new draft of the extradition law several times against the cordons, behind which a police ramp up to protect government buildings, said the South China Morning Post (SCMP) Hong Kong newspaper on Wednesday.
The police first applied paprika to the infamous protesters, who were protecting against corrosive substances with face masks and umbrellas. The police warned the demonstrators on the tables that, if they progress, they will use violence against them, “SCMP said.
However, the paprika spray did not discourage the protesters, who, after a short retraction, tensed the barricades again and again. Some of the crowd also dropped the police.
Not long after, the police used tear gas and water cannons several times, and the lawmakers were not allowed into government buildings. The move was justified by the fact that the peaceful demonstration turned into riot.
After some protesters got into a building of the government complex, the seizure police used tear gas and smoke bombs there as well.
The clashes are still taking place, and on-the-spot shots show that more people have been injured, but the crowd still stays there again and again.
The demonstrators began gathering around Tuesday at the Legislative Assembly building to frustrate the meeting scheduled for Wednesday morning at which legislators would have discussed the new draft law on extradition.
The Hong Kong legislature was forced to postpone the meeting due to the blockade, but did not remove the proposed amendment to the agenda that the government wants to adopt before 20 June.
The demonstrators – mostly young people at the beginning of their twenties – returned to the streets after a short lunch break because they wanted the government to put down the bill.
Many are being challenged by the new extradition law because it would allow Hong Kong to release fugitives, including possibly political refugees, to China, and would also be able to apply for extradition of some of them in older cases. Opponents of the proposal question the fairness and transparency of the Chinese court system.
Hong Kong, which has a special administrative status and a population of seven million, has been autonomous under the “one country, two systems” principle since returning to China from the British colonial rule in 1997. However, many Hong Kong dislikes that Beijing is gradually getting the city under tighter control and is trying to increase its influence.