(ROUGH CUT - NO REPORTER NARRATION) A massive protest against an extradition bill in Hong Kong erupted into violence and scuffles on Wednesday (June 12) as protesters tried to break into the Hong Kong legislative council building in the afternoon.
Protesters moved forward with barricades and threw objects before hundreds of armed riot police came out, mostly with shields to clear them out.
Police used pepper spray and batons on the protesters, after warning earlier that they "will use force." Tens of thousands of protesters had gathered near the legislative council building in the Chinese-ruled city before tempers flared, some charging police with umbrellas.
Police fired rubber bullets and tear gas at demonstrators in response.
The government said debate on the bill that was due to take place in the city's 70-seat Legislative Council on Wednesday would be delayed until further notice.
The legislature is controlled by a pro-Beijing majority.
Jimmy Lai, a media tycoon and critic of the Chinese Communist Party, was arrested on August 10 on charges of "collusion with a foreign country". Apple Daily, a fiercely pro-democracy newspaper that regularly takes on the Hong Kong government and the Chinese leadership. He is denounced by Chinese officials, pro-Beijing news outlets in Hong Kong, and China's state-run news media. According to Apple Daily, 72-year-old Lai was being investigated on charges of partnering with a foreign country. Besides Lai, his two sons have also been arrested on charges of violating company business code. The authorities are probing Lai's private investments as well. The draconian law is aimed at crushing dissent in the erstwhile British colony which saw massive pro-democracy protests last year. The legislation came into effect on July 1, 2020.
Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam on Friday postponed a Sept. 6 election for the city's legislature for a year because of a spike in novel coronavirus cases, dealing a blow to the pro-democracy opposition hoping to make gains in the vote. Soraya Ali reports.
Hong Kong activists held protests in Admiralty district on June 28 designed to coincide with the G20 summit in Osaka, Japan. They held up placards that included the phrase: “Free Hong Kong, Democracy..