Hong Kong protesters storm government building over China extradition bill

By Ben Westcott, Jessie Yeung, James Griffiths, Julia Hollingsworth, Steve George and Jenni Marsh, CNN

Updated 3:13 a.m. ET, August 31, 2019
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1:20 p.m. ET, July 1, 2019

Police moved in swiftly and drove the protesters away tonight

Police sitting down outside Hong Kong's Legislative Council building after clearing protesters from the area.
Police sitting down outside Hong Kong's Legislative Council building after clearing protesters from the area.

Most of the protesters cleared the Legislative Council building and the surrounding area after police moved in at around midnight, CNN’s Matt Rivers reported.

Police allowed protesters to spend the entire day in the area before clamping down on the protest “incredibly swiftly” and with a lot of “force and aggression,” he reported.

“It immediately killed their spirit,” Rivers said.
1:25 p.m. ET, July 1, 2019

Young, black-clad protesters cheer as their train pulls away from police

From CNN's Ben Westcott

At Hong Kong's Admiralty station, the main stop underneath the Legislative Council, dozens of young, black-clad protesters nervously waited for the train.

Once they were on board, they looked out the window to make sure their friends got on because police were shooting tear gas overheard.

Some even held up the train, to the annoyance of older citizens, to ensure their friends could get on.

When the doors finally closed and the train pulled out of the station, cheers reverberated down the train.

But even on the train, they didn't take their face masks off. No one risked being recognized or photographed.

12:49 p.m. ET, July 1, 2019

Hundreds of police have gathered outside the legislative building

CNN’s Nic Robertson reports that “hundreds upon hundreds of police officers” have now gathered outside the Legislative Council building in Hong Kong.

At around 12:30 a.m. local time, police appeared to “lined up waiting to get their instructions” outside the building, Robertson reports.

Police moved into the area earlier this evening to push the protesters out of the building and out of the immediate area. Tear gas was fired upon the protesters by the police.

“This is some sort of marshaling yard now for the police as they decide where to go, where they need to focus their efforts, where the crowds are they want to corral, where the crowds are that they want to push back. So they’re being organized here,” Robertson reports.
12:48 p.m. ET, July 1, 2019

Police push protesters away from the legislative building

CNN correspondent Matt Rivers, who is near the Legislative Council building in Hong Kong, said it looks like police are blocking off roads to try to force protesters away from the area.

"They are now blocking off areas and kind of penning everyone in," Rivers said on CNN Monday. "Journalists, protesters and whoever happens to be in this area in a very concentrated attempt to force people that were involved or covering these protests to a very specific location. It does appear to be Harcourt Road."

Rivers said that police are "quite intense" and are in full riot gear. He said this is a forceful and swift action to get protesters out of the legislative building and take control of the situation.

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12:41 p.m. ET, July 1, 2019

Police used batons and tear gas to clear the roads

From CNN’s James Griffiths

James Griffiths/CNN
James Griffiths/CNN

Hong Kong Police cleared the roads around the Legislative Council using tear gas and batons, according to CNN crews on the ground.

Police piled into protesters and pushed them onto the main Harcourt Road.

James Griffiths/CNN
James Griffiths/CNN

12:28 p.m. ET, July 1, 2019

Riot police chase down protesters amid chaos in central Hong Kong

From CNN's James Griffiths and Ben Westcott

Mass protests in Hong Kong are being rapidly dispersed by hundreds of riot police, using tear gas and shields.

Protesters are making a last stand on Harcourt Road outside the Legislative Council building, which they unexpectedly occupied on Monday.

Police have been seen outside the entrance of the government building, indicating it may no longer be in protester control.

The speed with which protesters have been cleared in comparison to the heated protests on June 12 is staggering.

Once again, the police are raising the black flag, warning the remaining demonstrators that they'll be launching tear gas soon.

12:12 p.m. ET, July 1, 2019

Police launch tear gas after raising warning banners

From CNN's Ben Westcott

Hong Kong police have arrived at the scene of the protests en masse and are now moving towards the Legislative Council building.

After raising black banners warning of tear gas, the police fired tear gas into the crowd.

It is now a full retreat by protesters as the police rapidly move forward towards the previously occupied government building.

12:21 p.m. ET, July 1, 2019

Police begin to advance on the protesters

From CNN's Iain Morris and Ben Westcott

Hundreds of police are beginning to move down the Queensway towards protesters, who have put up their umbrellas in advance.

Armed with riot shields and helmets, the police have charged towards protester lines.

Demonstrators have begun to urgently evacuate the Legislative Council.

Police fire tear gas at protesters near the government headquarters in Hong Kong on July 2, 2019, on the 22nd anniversary of the city's handover from Britain to China.
Police fire tear gas at protesters near the government headquarters in Hong Kong on July 2, 2019, on the 22nd anniversary of the city's handover from Britain to China. Anthony Wallace/AFP/Getty Images

11:55 a.m. ET, July 1, 2019

Should they stay or go? Protesters divided over whether to leave ahead of police deadline

From CNN's Eric Cheung, Lily Lee and James Griffiths

A damaged portrait of former legislative leader lie on the ground after protesters broke into the Legislative Council building in Hong Kong, Monday, July 1.
A damaged portrait of former legislative leader lie on the ground after protesters broke into the Legislative Council building in Hong Kong, Monday, July 1. AP/Kin Cheung

The crowd surrounding and occupying the Hong Kong Legislative Council has begun to spread out and dissipate as police threaten to clear the area.

But among a core group of protesters, there is division over how to proceed.

Some are calling for the demonstrators to stay until midnight and then leave on their own terms. Others say that they've come this far and they should try to hold the building.

Meanwhile, police are gathering at the government headquarters and large number of police vans have been seen driving towards the protest site.