Yellow-helmeted Hong Kong protesters storm Legislative Council building on anniversary of handover

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      While hundreds of thousands of Hong Kong residents held a peaceful demonstration in the streets, hundreds of young people did something radically different to show their opposition to a suspended extradition bill.

      Wearing yellow hard hats and with their faces covered, they smashed the windows of the Legislative Council building and stormed onto the premises.

      They wrote graffiti on the walls.

      They even draped a British flag on a podium inside the legislature.

      There has been no police response so far.

      Demonstrators want the extradition bill to be cancelled rather than merely being withdrawn.

      If approved by the legislature, it would clear the way for people accused of serious crimes to be extradited from Hong Kong, Macau, and Taiwan to be tried under China's justice system.

      It's led to fears in Hong Kong that pro-democracy activists could be kidnapped by Chinese authorities, taken back to mainland China, and given long prison sentences or face execution.

      Many are also calling for the resignation of Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam, a previous supporter of the bill.

      The actions in Hong Kong came a day after Vancouver residents held an event to express their support for the protests.

      They gathered on the north side of the Vancouver Art Gallery and held up newspaper ads declaring "Stand With Hong Kong at G20" and "Support Hong Kong at G20".

      The Vancouver Society in Support of Democratic Movement showed its support on June 30 for a free Hong Kong.

      Today's protest in Hong Kong coincides with the 22nd anniversary of Great Britain's handover of former colony to China.

      Hong Kong became a British colony in 1843 as a result of the Treaty of Nanking following the first Opium War.

      Kowloon Peninsula also became a British colony in 1860 after the second Opium War.

      When Hong Kong was returned to China, the Beijing government promised to allow its residents to remain free for 50 years under a "one country–two systems" policy.

      But critics of the Chinese government say that it is not honouring that pledge—and the extradition bill is the latest example of that.

      The human rights group Amnesty International condemned China in its country report for 2017-18.

      The organization noted that the Beijing government drafted and enacted new laws that "presented serious threats to human rights", but which were framed as being necessary for "national security".

      "Controls on the internet were strengthened," Amnesty International stated. "Repression of religious activities outside state-sanctioned churches increased.

      "Repression conducted under 'anti-separatism' or 'counter-terrorism campaigns remained particularly severe in the Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region and Tibetan-populated areas," the report continued. "Freedom of expression in Hong Kong came under attack as the government used vague and overbroad charges to prosecute pro-democracy activists."

      Update #1

      The Hong Kong Police Force has appealed to demonstrators to vacate the Legislative Council building.

      In a tweet, the force warned that it "will conduct sweeping in a short period of time and take reasonable force".

      Update #2

      Hong Kong police have fired tear gas at the demonstrators, according to Bloomberg.

      According to the South China Morning Post, the area outside the legislature has been cleared of protesters.