Police have reportedly dispersed protesters and dismantled barricades along Harcourt Road in Admiralty and have cleared the Legislative Council (LegCo) building as of 01:00 (local time) on Tuesday, July 2. During the evening hours of Monday, July 1, hundreds of protesters stormed the LegCo building and vandalized the legislative chamber. Protesters reportedly occupied the LegCo for roughly three hours, defacing portraits of officials and painting slogans on walls. Some protesters pledged to remain in the legislative chamber until the resignation of Hong Kong's Chief Executive Carrie Lam; however, protesters left as riot police moved in. Health officials indicate that some 50 people were treated for various injuries received during the protests.
The clashes followed a non-violent march on Monday amid the anniversary of Hong Kong returning to Chinese control. Organizers estimate some 550,000 people participated in the demonstration.
Tensions remain high, particularly around Admiralty and Central, and the situation may escalate further with little warning. Lingering transportation disruptions are to be expected around possible additional protests in Admiralty, including road closures and crowded conditions on public transportation. Heightened security measures remain in place and police officers may forcibly disperse crowds; clashes between security personnel and protesters cannot be ruled out.
Protests and mass demonstrations of up to 2 million people have been held since June 9 in opposition to a controversial bill that would allow Hong Kong to extradite fugitives wanted in mainland China, along with Macau and Taiwan. Opponents claim the law would erode freedoms guaranteed by China in 1997 and may be used to silence dissent and criticism.
Individuals in Hong Kong are advised to monitor the situation, adhere to instructions issued by local authorities, refrain from discussing political topics in public or on social media, avoid all public demonstrations due to the risk of violence and arrest, and anticipate localized transportation and business disruptions and a heightened security presence.
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