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Hong Kong protests: Protesters block the debate on the extradition law



The head of the Legislative Council of Hong Kong postponed the debate on a law that should allow for deliveries to mainland China after tens of thousands of residents surrounded the complex of the council in a defiant protest against the law's controversial legislation.

"The President of the Legislative Council has ordered that the Council meeting starting today at 11.00 on 12 June be changed over to a later time to be determined by him," reads a statement by the Council. "The members will be informed later about the date of the meeting."

Regina Ip, a pro-Beijing legislator and former cabinet minister, and her team were unable to enter the town council building because protesters had blocked the surrounding streets, said Emma Li, a spokeswoman for New People's Party of Ms. Ip.

Police said some demonstrators were digging bricks near the Legislative Complex. "Police warn demonstrators against throwing bricks because it can cause serious injury or even death and is strictly illegal," it said in a tweet.

Tens of thousands of young protesters demonstrating on a multi-lane road outside the Legislative Council broke into the songs of "Chit Wui!" to withdraw the delivery invoice.

As the crowd of demonstrators rose, the police tried to push them back with water cannons and pepper spray. Some umbrellas from convenience stores unfolded in the crowd. Others confiscated road signs and threw them clattering to the ground.

A debate on the bill was scheduled for 11.00 am, but was delayed. Local media reported that the delay was due to the legislature not being able to enter the building as a result of the protests.

The government later announced that due to the roadblocks, all entrances to its central offices were closed and called for employees who were not yet in the buildings to stay away.

Some protesters in the crowd said in interviews that they had little hope of forcing the government to withdraw the extradition law. But others, like Grace Tsang, were more optimistic.

wife. Twenty-five-year-old Tsang said she had arrived hoping to draw international attention to the law and hoped that a global condemnation could force the government to withdraw from submitting the bill for a second reading in the local legislature.

Hong Kong is a civilized city, but they do not listen to the citizens, "said Ms. Tsang, who was wearing sunglasses and a surgical mask for pepper spray protection, over the authorities. "It's pretty ridiculous."

"We need all the people in the world to support us, because sometimes we are pretty hopeless," she added.

The city police said some demonstrators had surrounded police and private cars in a tunnel and "threatened the lives of those surrounded."

"This behavior went beyond the scope of a peaceful gathering," the statement said , "We urge those who surround the vehicles to leave as soon as possible, otherwise we will use appropriate force."

Thousands of demonstrators pulled heavy metal barriers and flooded streets Hong Kong lawmakers blocked access to the building on Wednesday morning, in the recent demonstration against a controversial bill that would allow deliveries to mainland China.

The demonstrators, many of them young people in black T-shirts and surgical masks, set the barriers on a wide street in front of the Legislative Council as the sound of the metal scratching the asphalt crashed through a canyon of skyscrapers. Hundreds of full-face riot police and truncheons were watching.

Small businesses, including restaurants and bookstores, closed their doors; High school students and up to 4,000 of their teachers left their classes; and a bus workers union called on members to drive well below the speed limit.

The protest recalled the pro-democracy Umbrella Movement five years ago, which shut down several neighborhoods – including the streets that blockaded demonstrators on Wednesday – but ultimately won no concessions from the government.

One of the demonstrators, Daniel Yeung, 21, stood in the shadow of the parliament building on a cement block in the middle of the street wearing black clothes, a white surgical mask, and gardening gloves. The street, usually a busy thoroughfare, was now a sea of ​​black shirts. A city bus stood on the edge of the crowd.

Mr. Yeung said he came to protest against the extradition law and the policy he described as "arbitrary" by Carrie Lam, chief executive officer of Hong Kong, supported by Beijing, and president Xi Jinping of China. If the law is passed, he fears what the authorities might do. "They'll think you're a suspect and send you back to China."

Many of the protesters had begun to gather on Tuesday night and stayed overnight.

Legislators are expected to vote on the bill at the end of next week, Hong Kong's legislator said despite the weekend's mass protests.

The plan, announced Tuesday by Legislative Council Chairman Andrew Leung, further fueled tensions in Hong Kong after one of the biggest protests in the recent history of semi-autonomous Chinese territory took place on Sunday.

Public violence does not tolerate violence. The South China Morning Post reported that thousands of other officers had been mobilized.

Mr. Leung said that the bill could be put to the vote on 20 June after about 60 hours of debate. He added, "the case is urgent and must be dealt with as soon as possible." The measure is likely to be passed in the local legislature, where pro The legislature of Beijing holds 43 out of 70 seats.

The opposition legislator had expected the vote to take place towards the end of the month on the basis of a regular session. The Legislative Leader's decision to hold further sessions in the coming days to bring the vote to a vote soon met with criticism. Carrie Lam, executive director of Hong Kong, said Monday that the bill was "passed through Hong Kong with good conscience and conviction".

Mike Ives, Tiffany May, Katherine Li and Daniel Victor contributed to the coverage.


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