Anti-government protesters threw eggs and ink-filled balloons at China’s top office in Hong Kong on Sunday night following a mass rally against the now-suspended extradition bill.

Photo: May James/HKFP.

Organisers of Sunday’s protest, the Civil Human Rights Front, said 430,000 people participated. Police said 138,000 joined at its peak.

The police initially demanded that the event end at Southorn Playground in Wan Chai, but protesters continued marching towards Admiralty, as police retreated.

Photo: May James/HKFP.

As some arrived at Harcourt Road in Admiralty, they entered the highway and halted traffic.

Photo: May James/HKFP.

Many then decided to leave for the China Liaison Office in Sai Wan, dragging barricades into the road as they proceeded westwards.

Photo: May James/HKFP.

The crowd chanted “reclaim Hong Kong, revolution of our times,” a slogan used by now-jailed activist Edward Leung during his 2016 election campaign.

Photo: May James/HKFP.

A university fresh grad, who refused to give his name, told HKFP that there were no prior plans to go to the Liaison Office.

A slogan “reclaim Hong Kong, revolution of our times” is spray-painted on Liaison Office’s wall. Photo: May James/HKFP.

“It’s like what people said online: be water,” he said, referring to the movement’s philosophy that they should move frequently and unpredictably. “We felt that occupying Harcourt Road did not mean anything.”

“We did not think of chanting Leung’s slogan either. Somebody did that and we followed,” he added.

The name of the China Liaison Office is defaced with scrawled obscenities and the derogatory term “chee-na” substituted into the name. Photo: May James/HKFP.

As protesters arrived, some spray painted security cameras and scrawled graffiti on the walls.

At around 7:30pm, protesters hurled eggs at the building, with some hitting its front door, as well as the Chinese emblem.

At 7:45pm, a protester read out a statement in both Cantonese and English. They reiterated the demands of the anti-extradition movement, including a complete withdrawal of the now-suspended  bill, a retraction of the “riot” characterisation of the June 12 protests, and an unconditional release of all arrested protesters. They also called for a disbanding of the legislature and implementation of universal suffrage.

Photo: Kris Cheng/HKFP.

The statement said that peaceful protests, and the fact that some had taken their lives in incidents linked to the demonstrations, had not moved the government. They also accused the authorities of using “violent means” to deal with protesters.

“We love Hong Kong and do not want Hong Kong people to bleed or die for protecting our homes. But we will use all means to force the government to respond to our demands,” the statement said.

“After the Handover, using an unjust system and systemic violence, the Hong Kong government has repeatedly implemented evil laws, ignoring Hong Kong people’s interests. We will not rule out forming an interim legislature to return Hong Kong to the right track, to become a united, democratic, free and just society,” they added.

Photo: Kris Cheng/HKFP.

After reading the statement, some threw ink balloons at the Liaison Office, with some hitting the Chinese emblem.

Photo: May James/HKFP.

Police then said they would take action, as officers in riot gear arrived on the scene.

Photo: May James/HKFP.

Protesters decided to leave Sai Wan and head towards Central, where many who joined Sunday’s march had convened.

Photo: May James/HKFP.

By 8:45pm, police had retaken the area as most protesters headed eastwards back to the central business district.

Photo: May James/HKFP.

As some passed the Central Police Station in Sheung Wan, they spray-painted slogans on its walls and threw bricks through the station’s windows, according to Apple Daily.

Photo: May James/HKFP.

The controversial extradition bill would allow the city to handle case-by-case fugitive transfers to jurisdictions with no prior arrangements, including China, sparking public concerns over human rights in Hong Kong.

Photo: May James/HKFP.

On July 9, Chief Executive Carrie Lam declared the bill “dead,” but did not enact any mechanism to withdraw it, nor agree to other demands.

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Kris Cheng

Kris Cheng is a Hong Kong journalist with an interest in local politics. His work has been featured in Washington Post, Public Radio International, Hong Kong Economic Times and others. He has a BSSc in Sociology from the Chinese University of Hong Kong. Kris is HKFP's Editorial Director.