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Hong Kong Protest Live Updates: Thousands Take to the Streets

By on Jun 16, 2019 in Mobility Strategy | 0 comments

“We don’t trust her at all, actually,” Phoebe Ng, 29, a demonstrator, said of Ms. Lam.

The extradition legislation that prompted the outrage would allow criminal suspects in Hong Kong, a semiautonomous Chinese territory, to be transferred for trial to mainland China, where the courts are controlled by the Communist Party.

A similar protest last Sunday drew more than a million people, organizers said, making it one of the largest demonstrations in the history of Hong Kong, a city of about seven million. On Wednesday, lawmakers were forced to postpone a scheduled debate when tens of thousands of protesters gathered outside the legislature. Some protesters who tried unsuccessfully to storm the building were met with tear gas, pepper spray and rubber bullets from riot police officers.

In a remarkable reversal, Hong Kong’s chief executive, Carrie Lam, said on Saturday that she would indefinitely suspend the bill.

[The bill’s suspension is China’s biggest political retreat under President Xi Jinping.]

Ms. Lam, who took over as Hong Kong’s leader in 2017 with the support of Beijing, had vowed to ensure the bill’s approval and tried to get it passed on an unusually short timetable, even as hundreds of thousands demonstrated against it last week.

[Carrie Lam is known for almost never backing down in a fight.]

As pressure mounted, even some pro-Beijing lawmakers said the measure should be delayed. While the suspension is a victory for Hong Kong protesters, Ms. Lam made it clear on Saturday that the bill was being delayed, not withdrawn outright. City leaders hope that delaying the legislation will cool public anger, but leading opposition figures and protesters say that is wishful thinking.

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