The next reading of Hong Kong’s proposed extradition law is on hold as a big part of Hong Kong gathered in Admiralty to express their dismay at the proposed legislation and their anger at their lack of say in Hong Kong’s future.
Hong Kong’s Legislative Council (LegCo) delayed a debate today on a bill that would allow extraditions to mainland China, and many other jurisdictions with which Hong Kong currently has no arrangements, after LegCo members could not make it past the throngs of people blocking the streets, stopping traffic along major arteries in Hong Kong.
In s scene reminiscent of 2014, tens of thousands of people swarmed the streets. Many were holding umbrellas, to ward off against the rain.
Companies sent staff home and shops closed as protesters flocked to Admiralty, just three days after the largest protests Hong Kong has seen in two decades.
Chief Secretary for Administration Matthew Cheung urged protesters to disperse and tried to explain that the extradition law applies for serious criminals but his statement on local station ICable was drowned out by protesters.
The protests on Wednesday actually started a day earlier, as protesters spend the night in front of the government building and were later relived by their friends.
“I skipped work to come help out today. My duty here is to distribute water, food and masks to the protestors,” Flora Lau, a 23 year old protestor volunteering at a first aid booth, told Harbour times.
“Everyone is a volunteer here. We spread the message to our families and friends to collect these resources,” she said. “Later on more people joined us and gave us more resources. We have helped people who got injured by pepper spray. But largely the protest has been peaceful.”
“I have to come out to show my support today because the government shouldn’t implement this policy at all. This time I really feel like we Hong Kongers are so strong together.”
Lau was speaking in the mid-afternoon, just as pro-democracy lawmakers held a press conference to urge Chief Executive Carrie Lam to revoke the bill. They threatened to escalate their actions.