Hong Kong protests turn violent on anniversary of 1997 handover
Extradition protests in Hong Kong turned violent on Monday after demonstrators stormed and trashed the Legislative Council.
HONG KONG — Beijing has condemned the protests in Hong Kong as violent, calling it an "undisguised challenge" to its rule.
The BBC reports that during the anniversary of the Hong Kong handover on Monday, protesters blocked streets around the venue where Chief Executive Carrie Lam was attending the annual flag-raising ceremony.
Demonstrators wearing hard hats and masks broke off from the main protest around midday, and made their way to the Legislative Council.
They surrounded the building, eventually smashing through the glass facade.
Inside the central chamber, protesters defaced the Hong Kong emblem and raised the old British colonial flag. They also spray-painted messages across the walls and shattered furniture.
At midnight, police charged toward the building after several warnings earlier in the evening to clear it, firing tear gas at the rest of the crowd outside as they advanced.
The streets were cleared within an hour, with only media and police remaining.
The violent display came after a peaceful weeks-long demonstration, in which hundreds of thousands of Hong Kongers flocked to the streets to protest a controversial China extradition law.
Like the Chinese government, Lam likewise condemned the "extreme use of violence," adding that Hong Kong authorities will "pursue any illegal acts" carried out by demonstrators.
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