Another massive occupation of Admiralty in Hong Kong erupted on Wednesday, like the Umbrella Movement of 2014, against the government’s amendment of the Fugitive Offenders Ordinance. ‘We are back’ is posted on Lennon Wall.
The protesters were confronted with heavily armed riot police. The police attacked with excessive force and without prior warning, firing rubber bullets, bean bags, tear gas, and pepper spray indiscriminately. It was also the first time that the police shoot at local protesters after 1997.
Clouds of tear gas shrouded Admiralty area, including government headquarters, Chief Executive’s Office and Legislative Council Building. 72 people were injured, 2 of them seriously. The demonstrators were temporarily forced to retreat but continue to occupy after regroup.
The police characteried the incident as ‘riots’. The Chief Executive, Carrie Lam, described it and an organised ‘riot’ and reiterated that the amendments would not be withdrawn.
The mass protest was headline news on mainstream overseas media, including New York Times, CNN, Financial Times and others. British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) described the scene as ‘completely chaotic’, ‘like a battlefield.’ Overseas media generally only use ‘protests’ as opposed to Hong Kong Government’s ‘riot’.
Over 200 members of the Chief Executive Election Committee jointly requested Carrie Lam to step down and call for re-election. They also requested the withdrawal of the Fugitive Offenders amendments, and the police to stop the violence immediately.