A group of protesters who attended Sunday’s rally against Beijing’s decision to intervene in the lawmakers’ oath controversy took over parts of the road outside the China Liaison Office amid clashes with police and pepper spray.
The demonstration, originally scheduled to finish at the Court of Final Appeal, proceeded to the China Liaison Office – where Beijing’s powerful organ in Hong Kong is housed on Connaught Road West. At least 4,000 protesters attempted to gather outside the Liaison Office at 6pm, against police instructions.
During a chaotic scene near the Liaison Office at around 7pm, League of Social Democrats Chairman Avery Ng Man-yuen was taken away by police after he allegedly attempted to break a police cordon.
A police officer was seen using a baton against protesters who tried to prevent Ng from being removed. Another officer was seen hitting protesters. They repeatedly told demonstrators to take their hands off Ng.
Ng’s party said he was arrested for deliberately obstructing police in the execution of their lawful duties and is currently in detention at the North Point Police Station.
At around 7:50pm, demonstrators attempted to occupy the road.
Police shot at least seven rounds of pepper spray, according to local media reports.
Lawmakers Leung Kwok-hung and Baggio Leung Chung-hang were among those pepper sprayed.
Protesters subsequently took over two lanes of Connaught Road West. In scenes reminicent of the unrest seen during the 2014 pro-democracy Occupy protest, some used umbrellas to protect themselves from pepper spray, while others threw water bottles at the police.
Despite the refusal of the police to allow protesters near the China Liaison Office, Youngspiration’s Baggio Leung and Yau Wai-ching, who stayed at the back of the demonstration, took a different route and managed to approach Beijing’s representative office in the territory.
Yau was subsequently surrounded by police and led to the approved protest zone.
Protesters shouted slogans, opposing Beijing’s interpretation of the Basic Law.
The demonstration came days after a judicial review brought by the Hong Kong government was heard at the High Court. The authorities are seeking to disqualify Youngspiration’s Yau and Leung from LegCo after they held a flag reading “Hong Kong is Not China” during their swearing-in session and modified their oath using the word “Chee-na,” which some deem offensive to Chinese people.
Organisers say 11,000 people participated in the rally, while police say 8,000 attended.