Protesters in Hong Kong ran riot in the territory's legislature on Monday, smashing walls and occupying the chamber amid widespread anger over a proposed law that would allow suspected criminals to be extradited to mainland China.
Activists raised a black bauhinia flag to half mast outside the Legislative Council building before the rally and turned Hong Kong's official flag, featuring a white bauhinia flower on a red background, upside down.
China's Hong Kong on Monday celebrated the 22nd anniversary of its return to the motherland and the establishment of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region with various activities all over Hong Kong.
"I was around during the Umbrella protests but I did not participate, but this time around I am really anxious about self-determination and freedom of expression in Hong Kong, which I have called my home all these years", said Steve, a British lawyer who has lived and worked in Hong Kong for 30 years.
Once inside, protesters ripped portraits of chief executives from walls and sprayed graffiti calling for the release of arrested protesters.
There was some tension during the protest when people set up barricades on roads, painted the outside of the building with slogans critical of the police and locked officers inside.
Video shows police retreating behind a fence into the government building before protesters arrive, dragging a heavy object to block the exit.
Just recently the Hong Kong administration (which now has its own legal system) announced plans for an extradition treaty with China which would allow the Chinese authorities to detain suspected criminals on Hong Kong soil.
June 9, 2019 - Protest organisers say around a million people rally against the extradition bill in a march to government headquarters.
Beijing's grip over Hong Kong has intensified markedly since Mr Xi took power and after pro-democracy street protests that gripped the city in 2014 but failed to wrestle concessions from China.
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The HKSAR government held in the morning a flag raising ceremony and a reception at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Center.
"I don't know why the government is harming us".
Hong Kong Senior Superintendent Kong Wing-cheung said the Admiralty area - where previous demonstrations this month have concluded - might not be safe enough to be the end point of this afternoon's march. But analysts stated that this has not affected Hong Kong's markets and the United States trade war against China has made little impact on business in the city.
The march set out at around 3 p.m. Participants were shouting "Carrie Lam step down, Withdraw the evil law".
The boisterous crowd, some carrying Chinese flags, filled a park in front of the legislature and chanted "thank you" to the police.
"It's a long term thing".
Police estimated 190,000 people joined the peaceful march, the third major one in as many weeks.
The protesters are also demanding an independent inquiry into police actions during a June 12 protest, when officers used tear gas and rubber bullets to disperse a demonstration that blocked the legislature on the day that debate on the bill had been scheduled to resume.
Carrie Lam, Hong Kong's leader, has vowed to be more responsive to public sentiment after facing withering criticism in recent weeks. This bill has since been shelved, but many citizens are angry that it was even being considered.
"It has made me fully understand that as a politician, I need to be aware and accurately grasp the feelings of the people".