In Hong Kong, riots broke out on the 22nd anniversary of the transfer of the former British Crown Colony. The police went on Monday with batons and pepper spray on the protesters to disperse the crowds. Protective helmets, masks and umbrellas were worn by some of the demonstrators, dressed in black.
Some attempted to storm the Hong Kong parliament, with windows being broken. About one hundred riot police guarded the government building. The mood in the metropolis was tense. Policemen held up a red banner that warned protesters not to move forward. Police then batons the protesters.
Hundreds and Thousands gathered at temperatures above 30 degrees for the annual protest in central Victoria Park. “In recent years, we have become more active as we realized that the peaceful way does not work,” said a young protester.
For weeks, millions of people in Hong Kong have been protesting against a bill to enable foreigners to give deliveries to China. There were always violent clashes between protesters and police.
Hong Kong Prime Minister Carrie Lam also made a public appearance at the anniversary celebrations for the first time in over two weeks. She looked tired. Protesters demand the resignation. They accuse Lam of being knitted to China. Her attempt to approach the demonstrators by postponing the project until further notice, but not topple, did not help. China assured Lam of the support. Lam promised on Monday to do more for young people and change the style of government.
Since its transfer to China in 1997, the population of the former British Crown Colony of Hong Kong has enjoyed liberties such as those of opinions that are otherwise taboo in the People’s Republic under the slogan “one country, two systems”. These see the protesters at risk. Opponents of the controversial amendment fear being exposed to China’s justice system. Human rights activists allegedly accused China of torture, arbitrary detention, forced confessions and lack of access to lawyers. Even abroad, the expatriation law, which had meanwhile been shelved, met with criticism. Financial advisers, bankers and lawyers are already withdrawing their private assets from Hong Kong.