BREAKING: Amid protests, Hong Kong gov’t delays debate on extradition bill

Protesters could be heard shouting for gloves, goggles, and zip ties — used to create makeshift ramparts by tying together police barricades. Cheers were let out as supplies passed through the crowd. Photo: Coconuts Hong Kong
Protesters could be heard shouting for gloves, goggles, and zip ties — used to create makeshift ramparts by tying together police barricades. Cheers were let out as supplies passed through the crowd. Photo: Coconuts Hong Kong

In what appears at least a temporary victory for thousands of protesters massed outside Hong Kong’s Legislative Council building, a planned debate of a controversial bill that would allow extradition to mainland China has been shelved to an undetermined date.

The announcement, which came via a brief announcement on the council’s website, follows blockage of major thoroughfares this morning in the city’s Admiralty area, home to an array of government offices, as youthful protesters faced off with police in riot gear.

As word of the legislative delay swept through the crowd, a cheer went up, though to this point, there has been no immediate move to disperse, with some attempting to expand the occupied area by erecting more barriers.

One protester, who spoke to Coconuts Hong Kong on condition of anonymity, made it clear there was little trust in the crowd when it came to the announced delay.

“[Building the barricades] is to not let those people into the council so they cannot start the process of the bill, because we don’t have enough votes in the council (to block it.),” they said. “We need to do the maximum to protect ourselves.”

While the morning has been fraught, with protesters passing out umbrellas, zip ties (to create makeshift barricades) and medical masks, it has been largely free of violence. One notably aggressive action was the use of a fire hose on a lone protester earlier.

We’ll update this story as it continues to develop.

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CITY: HONG KONGCATEGORY: NEWSSUB-CATEGORIES: POLITICS

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