Over 100 anti-extradition law protesters occupied the foyer of the Revenue Tower in Wan Chai on Monday, in a fresh act of civil disobedience to hinder the government’s operations.
Activists first convened at the rear of the legislature before deciding to move eastwards to protest at the government’s finance department at around noon.
Many wore black t-shirts and facemasks as they staged a sit-in protest in the lobby. No police were visible on the scene, and no group or leader appeared to be in charge of the demonstration.
Protesters allowed staff working in the offices above to leave, though few were allowed back in.
As they left the building, protesters told them: “Thank you for the hard work, you can leave now.”
By 12:50pm, some protesters were singing “Sing Hallelujah to the Lord.”
Hong Kong has been rocked by a series of protests over legal amendments proposed in February, which would enable the city to handle case-by-case extradition requests from jurisdictions with no prior agreements – most notably China. Critics from across sectors have raised concerns over the risk of residents being extradited to the mainland, which lacks human rights protections.
The bill has was suspended by the government, though protesters on Monday continued to call for a complete withdrawal.
They also demanded that police be held accountable for alleged cases of brutality, that arrested protesters be released, and that the authorities withdraw references to “riot” to describe clashes on June 12.
Sam Newman, a 28-year-old teacher, was obstructed from entering the complex while trying to sort his taxes before a trip abroad. He told HKFP he travelled from Discovery Bay, but supports the anti-extradition protesters’ cause.
“I’m a pretty reasonable person so I understand what they’re doing but it’s a little frustrating having travelled over an hour to get here,” he said, adding that he would have to take more time off work to come again.
Additional reporting: Kris Cheng and Jennifer Creery.
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