Crowd flees liaison office as riot police move in - RTHK
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Crowd flees liaison office as riot police move in

2019-07-21 HKT 20:24
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  • Crowd flees liaison office as riot police move in
Anti-government protesters fled Beijing's liaison office on Sunday evening, just moments after the police announced the complex would be their first target for a clearance operation.

Some of the hundreds in the crowd had been vandalising the outside of the liaison office complex, throwing eggs at the building, black paint over the People's Republic of China emblem, and spraying graffiti over the office's plaque.

The crowd was only there for around an hour in what was the first time extradition bill protesters had taken their anger out on mainland authorities, rather than local officials.

A protester read out a declaration shortly before they left, demanding a full withdrawal of the extradition bill, the release without charge of arrested protesters, an independent probe into the policing of past protests, universal suffrage and for Legco to be dissolved.

"We love Hong Kong dearly and we do not wish to see another drop of blood shed protecting our homeland, let alone another precious life lost," the protester said.

"There are no violent protesters or rioters, there is only tyranny. We will protect our homeland by any means," he continued.

There was no police presence throughout this time, just like there hadn't been earlier in the evening when the protesters blocked roads in Admiralty, Central and Sheung Wan.

But at around 8pm the force announced it would shortly be taking action.

"In face of the escalating violence, the Police will conduct clearance starting from the Western District towards the East. The Police appeals to the public to avoid travelling to the relevant areas," the force said on Twitter.

"The residents and workers of these areas should mind their personal safety and stay tuned to the latest announcements from the Police. The participants of the public procession should take public transport and leave as soon as possible."

The protesters outside the liaison office dispersed quickly, apparently making their way back towards Central.

Police in riot gear, meanwhile, assembled on Connaught Road West, near the liaison office.

Members of the Civil Human Rights Front, which organised the day's march from Victoria Park, meanwhile, said they were heading to the Court of Final Appeal in Central where they would formally announce the end of their demonstration.