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Protesters occupy roads with no police resistance

2019-06-17 HKT 02:19
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  • Protesters occupy roads with no police resistance
  • Some protesters set up barricades at Lung Wo Road by the Chief Executive's office. Photo: RTHK
    Some protesters set up barricades at Lung Wo Road by the Chief Executive's office. Photo: RTHK
  • A handful of police officers stand watch outside the Legislative Council building, without riot gear. Photo: RTHK
    A handful of police officers stand watch outside the Legislative Council building, without riot gear. Photo: RTHK
Thousands of demonstrators occupied the streets surrounding the central government complex at Tamar without any police resistance early on Monday morning, hours after an historic rally with a claimed turnout of around two million ended late on Sunday.

An RTHK reporter saw protesters setting up barricades on both sides of Lung Wo Road outside the Chief Executive’s Office in an attempt to block traffic.

Similar barriers were set up on Tim Wa Avenue nearby.

Large groups of protesters remain camped out in a sit-in protest on Harcourt Road, with some demonstrators insisting they won’t leave until Chief Executive Carrie Lam completely withdraws the extradition bill, frees all protesters arrested during clashes last week, and steps down.

But unlike the previous week, there was little tension in the air – with most protesters unmasked, sitting and chatting away as if they were having a picnic at the park. Police made a point to stay away, in stark contrast with the heavy presence they maintained in the same area just a week before.

Some protesters passed water around, and one handed our reporter a burger.

Only a few officers were spotted standing guard outside the Legislative Council building, dressed in normal uniforms without any helmets or shields or riot gear of any sort.

Earlier, several pan-democratic lawmakers had walked around the area to appeal for demonstrators to exercise restraint, saying they must avoid three things: any bloodshed, injuries, or arrests.

Democratic Party legislator Roy Kwong, who’s become a favourite among the protesters for his tireless attempts to help demonstrators in need, told them he could not bear seeing any more people hurt, and appealed to the crowd to take care of one another.

But it seems that in the absence of any confrontations with police, that advice was unneeded – at least for now.