HONG KONG – Hong Kong police have used tear gas, pepper spray and high-pressure water hoses against protesters who have laid siege to government buildings to oppose a contentious extradition bill.
Thousands of protesters blocked entry to Hong Kong’s government headquarters Wednesday, delaying a legislative session on a proposed extradition bill that has become a lightning rod for concerns over greater Chinese control and erosion of civil liberties in the territory.
The protesters overflowed onto a major downtown road as they overturned barriers and tussled with police outside the building that also houses the chambers where the legislature was to discuss the bill, which would allow criminal suspects in Hong Kong to be sent for trial in mainland China.
A statement from a Hong Kong administrator earlier said, “I would also like to ask the people in this gathering to stay calm and leave the scene as soon as possible and not to commit any crime.”
Cheung gave no indication of when the delayed legislative debate would begin.