Demonstrators in Hong Kong gathered Monday outside the office of the city’s leader, demanding that she step down in the crisis over a highly unpopular extradition bill that has tested the durability of China’s promises to respect the former British colony’s quasi-autonomy.
The mostly young protesters blocked a street near the city’s waterfront as they stood outside the office of Chief Executive Carrie Lam chanting calls for her to cancel the proposed legislation.
Nearly 2 million Hong Kong residents, young and old, joined a march on Sunday that lasted late into the night to express their frustrations with Lam and the extradition bill, backed by Beijing. Many stayed on afterward.
Protesters blocked some downtown roads well into Monday morning, but gradually yielded to police requests to reopen roads, moving to areas near the city’s government headquarters. The protest revived after Joshua Wong, a prominent activist leader, rallied the crowd after his release from prison later Monday.
The activists have rejected apologies from Lam for her handling of the legislation, which would allow suspects to be sent to mainland China for trial. She announced that work on the bill would be suspended after large protests last week, but the legislation has touched a nerve not easily soothed in a city anxious over the increasingly authoritarian Communist rule of Chinese President Xi Jinping.
The uproar highlights worries that the former British colony is losing the special autonomous status China promised it when it took control in 1997.
With files from the Associated Press
With guest host Kyle Stokes
Victoria Tin-bor Hui, associate professor of political science at the University of Notre Dame specializing in Hong Kong politics; she is originally from Hong Kong
Gabriel Law, spokesperson for Hong Kong Forum Los Angeles, a non-profit that promotes democratic development in Hong Kong and China; he is originally from Hong Kong and was one of the organizers behind a 3-day hunger strike in Monterey Park over the weekend held in support of the Hong Kong protests