Anti-extradition bill protesters wear helmets during a demonstration near a flag raising ceremony for the anniversary of Hong Kong handover to China in Hong Kong, China July 1, 2019. REUTERS/Tyrone Siu
HONG KONG (Reuters) – Hundreds of thousands of people are expected to take to the streets on Monday for a rally to mark the 22nd anniversary of Hong Kong’s handover from British to Chinese rule, as anger over an extradition bill plunges the city into political turmoil.
Opponents of the now-suspended extradition bill, which would allow people to be sent to mainland China for trial in courts controlled by the Communist Party, fear it is a threat to Hong Kong’s much-cherished rule of law and are demanding it be scrapped and embattled leader Carrie Lam step down.
Here are quotes from people on the streets of Hong Kong:
“We used to think that police are protecting the citizens. But people are protesting peacefully. Citizens are scared,” said student Tiffany Lau, 21. “Carrie Lam still doesn’t want to listen to citizens. I think the only solution is for her to step down.”
“I came here today to support democracy in Hong Kong,” said Thomas Chen. “From an economic view, maybe this will impact the confidence of investors in Hong Kong and this would be a big impact. But I have still come today because this is for our future.”
“I come to the July 1 protests every year, but this time I came in particular because of the extradition bill,” said Elzevir Young, 59.
“This is the first time I have come for the July 1 protest. I came because Carrie Lam will not withdraw the extradition law,” said a man in his 20s surnamed Lau.
“I stayed over since 1:30 a.m. … I will not stay overnight because our goal has failed already. We failed to stop the flag-raising ceremony,” said Johnny So, 18, referring to the annual flag-raising event that took place on Monday.
“I won’t go to the march because there will be an escalation,” said Bonnie Fong, 26. “There will be some clashes.”
Compiled by Anne Marie Roantree; Editing by Paul Tait