Thousands of protesters blocked roads around the Hong Kong Legislative Council building ahead of the second reading of a controversial extradition bill.
Demonstrations escalating – rubber bullets, tear gas, and non-lethal bean bag round fired at protestors who tried to storm the building.
The second reading now postpones, although Hong Kong’s government is still pushing for the bill which would make it easier to extradite people to mainland China.
Opponents say the bill could see democracy activists, journalists, and foreign business owners surrendered to mainland China.
The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government reiterated in a statement Wednesday that the bill would quote “only target fugitives who are charged with serious crimes and not for the law-abiding general public.”
The move came after a 19-year-old Hong Kong man reportedly killed his 20-year-old pregnant girlfriend while vacationing in Taiwan last year.
The man fled to Hong Kong where he could not be extricated because they don’t have an extradition treaty.
In a video statement posted on Twitter Wednesday, Hong Kong Police Force asked protesters to disperse as soon as possible.
According to the statement, failure to disperse would leave the police quote “with no choice but to take appropriate force to protect” their defense line.
Video shows police barricades and a banner warning of teargas. Local reports say have police also barricaded themselves in the government building to keep protestors out.
The second meeting will be rescheduled and held at an unspecified later time.