Hong Kong: Protesters block seat of government, delaying extradition bill reading

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Hong Kong: Protesters block seat of government, delaying extradition bill reading

Deutsche Welle

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Hong Kong: Protesters block seat of government, delaying extradition bill reading
Hong Kong: Protesters block seat of government, delaying extradition bill reading. Reuters/A. Perawongmetha
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Authorities in Hong Kong delayed the second reading of the controversial extradition bill after crowds of protesters blocked access to the assembly on Wednesday. The session would be held at “a later time to be determined,” according to a statement from the government’s press service.

The move marks a victory for the opponents of the bill which would allow the former UK colony to extradite detainees to mainland China.

Thousands of people crowded the area around the city’s Legislative Council and blocked two major roads in front of the city’s seat of government on Wednesday morning. The protesters overturned metal barriers erected by the police and tussled with security forces, as the officers used pepper spray and warned the crowd they would use force if the pressure continued.

Later on Wednesday, officials announced they had delayed the start of the legislative session because of the protests.

Most of the protesters were young people and students.

“We’re young but we know that if we don’t stand up for our rights, we might lose them,” 18-year-old protester Jacky told the AP news agency.

City at a standstill

Teachers’ unions said they were planning to strike on Wednesday, and other reports spoke of students boycotting classes to attend the rallies. Members of the Hong Kong Confederation of Trade Unions were encouraged to take sick leave, a union representative told the German dpa news agency. More than 1,000 business also pledged to take a day off in order to boost the protest before the Legislative Council.

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