BREAKING: Hong Kong protesters break through final barriers, overrun LegCo

Exterior of HK’s Legislative Council building, minutes after it was breached by protesters. Vicky Wong for Coconuts Hong Kong
Exterior of HK’s Legislative Council building, minutes after it was breached by protesters. Vicky Wong for Coconuts Hong Kong

After breaking first through exterior glass doors and walls and then a number of metal security shutters, scores of protesters have now entered Hong Kong’s Legislative Council building, with more pouring in by the second and cheering crowds outside shouting encouragement to keep moving in. Vandalism inside has been rampant, with streaming footage showing protesters entering the legislative chamber itself and defacing the SAR regional emblem.

The full breach of the building followed tense minutes carried live by multiple local broadcasters, in which large numbers of police could be seen massing behind the metal doors in full riot gear. Smoke was visible prior to the final breach, though its source was not immediately apparent.

Those police have since seemingly dispersed, however, allowing the protesters to roam freely inside, and leaving observers to wonder when and if they plan to crack down this evening.

In at least one of the live feeds where this is unfolding, an alarm can be heard ringing insistently in the background. As this story is published, protesters outside the building could be heard telling each other that police vehicles had been spotted on Queen’s Road.

Protesters had laid siege to the LegCo building for hours before the breech, occupying roads, smashing windows, ripping out barriers, throwing eggs, and at points storming the building as crackling, undirected political anger over a controversial extradition bill was taken out on seemingly the only target available: the legislature itself.

The seige of LegCo coincided with a large-scale peaceful march on the anniversary of semi-autonomous Hong Kong’s return to China by its British colonial rulers in 1997. A ceremony marking the handover and attended by the city’s political elite early this morning was also marred by protests, which police sought to forcibly disperse with pepper spray and batons.

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