In Hong Kong, hundreds of thousands of protesters blanketed the streets Sunday, calling out a proposed bill that would allow for the extradition of Hong Kong residents to face charges in mainland China. Protest organizers estimated more than 1 million people took to the streets, while the police reported around 240,000. Demonstrators say the bill would infringe on Hong Kong’s independence and their legal and human rights.
Dorothy Lau: “The motherland once promised that we would have 'one country, two systems.' But now, under the regime of Xi Jinping, Carrie Lam and John Lee, who are betting on the future of Hong Kong people, the freedom that Hong Kong people used to have will no longer exist if this law is passed.”
Protesters clashed with police in the early hours of Monday morning, as riot police used batons, pepper spray and water cannons against protesters in front of government buildings. Social media posts and reports about the protest were blocked by internet censors in mainland China. Pro-democracy and pro-Beijing lawmakers broke out in skirmishes last month over the contested bill. Hong Kong’s Chief Executive Carrie Lam has said she does not plan to withdraw the bill in the wake of the massive protests, and lawmakers are scheduled to debate on the legislation later this week.