Hong Kong’s Central Government Offices and Admiralty MTR station will remain closed on Thursday as the area remains on police lockdown.
The remaining anti-extradition law protesters dispersed overnight, with most barricades largely abandoned by the early hours.
— MTR Service Update (@mtrupdate) June 12, 2019
Police used rubber bullets, bean bags and tear gas to push tens of thousands of protesters along Harcourt Road towards Central on Wednesday.
The police chief Stephen Lo and Chief Executive Carrie Lam deemed the unrest a “riot,” and the administration has insisted that the extradition law will be enacted.
Clad in black and wearing goggles and hard hats, demonstrators clashed with police and built barricades using materials from nearby construction sites.
Overnight, the health authorities said 72 had been injured in the clashes.
An HKFP reporter noted that one barricade near the Mandarin Oriental in Central included bamboo poles, wood, plastic sheeting, electrical lights and bottles of gasoline.
Clean up kicks off
As of Thursday morning, Harcourt Road and Queensway were littered with debris – including hard hats, goggles, face masks and food.
The roads that had previously been sealed off were opened and the makeshift barricades removed.
Several dozen individual volunteers had gathered on the former protest site to pick up debris. One of them told HKFP that they did not have any plans to rally on Thursday.
Hong Kong proposed legal amendments in February to allow the city to handle case-by-case extradition requests from jurisdictions with no prior agreements – most notably China and Taiwan. The bill would enable the chief executive and local courts to handle extradition requests without legislative oversight, though lawyers, journalists, foreign politicians and businesses have raised concerns over the risk of residents being extradited to the mainland, which lacks human rights protections.
A scheduled Legislative Council debate of the bill was postponed due to the protests on Wednesday.
Apple Daily reports that pro-establishment legislators are planning a second reading of the bill at 11am on Thursday.
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