Tens of thousands of protesters marched through the streets of Hong Kong on Monday on the 22nd anniversary of the territory's return to China from Britain.
Protesters tried to storm the Legislative Council building, using a metal cart and poles to smash windows amid anger over a controversial extradition bill. Riot police armed with pepper spray, gas masks and shields guarded the facility from within.
Hong Kong has been shaken by huge demonstrations in the past three weeks against a controversial extradition bill which many fear could be used to deport political activists and dissidents to mainland China.
The said bill was proposed on April 3, and its opposers argue that its controversial amendments will leave anyone on Hong Kong soil vulnerable to being grabbed by the Chinese authorities for political reasons or inadvertent business offences.
They further reason that the newly framed extradition plan would dissolve the rights and legal protections, which were guaranteed under the city's handover from British colonial rule to Chinese sovereignty in 1997.
Anti-extradition bill protesters march during the anniversary of Hong Kong's handover to China in Hong Kong, China. Photograph: Tyrone Siu/Reuters
Activists smashed windows of the city's legislature and tried to force their way into the building by ramming poles into the glass doors. Photograph: Tyrone Siu/Reuters
The angry scenes has ramped up tensions in the international financial hub. At one point, the protesters used a metal cart to smash the glass door's of the Legislative Council building. Photograph: Tyrone Siu/Reuters
Protester gestures as he tries to break into the Legislative Council building where riot police are seen, during the anniversary of Hong Kong's handover to China in Hong Kong. Photograph: Thomas Peter/Reuters
Police stand guard next to a window that was smashed by protesters, at the Legislative Council in Hong Kong. Photograph: Thomas Peter/Reuters
Riot police used batons to disperse anti-extradition protesters during a clash outside the Legislative Council Complex. Photograph: Tyrone Siu/Reuters
Police swooped on protesters, beating some with batons as they fell to the ground, and used pepper spray to try to disperse crowds. Photograph: Tyrone Siu/Reuters
The rally comes after weeks of unprecedented anti-government protests that have drawn millions and anger over police using tear gas and rubber bullets to clear crowds. Photograph: Tyrone Siu/Reuters
The ongoing rallies are the latest manifestation of growing fears that China is stamping down on the city's freedoms and culture with the help of the finance hub's pro-Beijing leaders. Photograph: Tyrone Siu/Reuters