Hong Kong protests over China extradition bill

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9:41 a.m. ET, June 12, 2019

Protesters are rallying against a controversial bill. Here's what it would do.

Protesters react after police fired tear gas during a rally against a controversial extradition law proposal outside the government headquarters in Hong Kong on Wednesday.
Protesters react after police fired tear gas during a rally against a controversial extradition law proposal outside the government headquarters in Hong Kong on Wednesday. ANTHONY WALLACE/AFP/Getty Images

Protesters in Hong Kong have spent days demonstrating against a proposed extradition law.

Here's what you need to know about the bill:

  • What the bill would do: The proposed law would allow Hong Kong to extradite fugitives to territories where it doesn't have formal extradition deals, including mainland China, Taiwan and Macau. 
  • What it could could mean: Opponents of the bill say it could mean democracy activists, journalists and foreign business owners could be surrendered to mainland China.
  • Why this issue is so sensitive: Remember: Hong Kong is a semi-autonomous city, which has a separate legal system and political system to mainland China. It allows citizens to enjoy freedoms not protected on the mainland. Although Hong Kong is part of China, it has separate laws that follow the UK system and no capital punishment, unlike mainland China.

9:08 a.m. ET, June 12, 2019

Chinese artist Ai Weiwei "totally opposes" the Hong Kong bill

From CNN's Kristi Lu Stout

Maja Hitij/Getty Images
Maja Hitij/Getty Images

Prominent Chinese artist Ai Weiwei said he totally opposes the controversial Hong Kong extradition bill and said he has no confidence in Hong Kong’s government.

 "We have seen the Hong Kong people, young people mostly defending their rights. But this has to happen because no body trusts China’s judicial system," he said.

About the bill: The proposed law would allow Hong Kong to extradite fugitives to territories where it doesn't have formal extradition deals, including mainland China. Opponents of the bill say it could mean democracy activists, journalists and foreign business owners could be surrendered to mainland China.

Ai criticized the Hong Kong government, saying it has sided with the Chinese government. Here's how he put it: 

“I totally oppose the bill because I have no confidence in Hong Kong’s government, which is not democratically elected. Its in favor with Chinese government. So I don’t think they can do anything to reflect the need of Hong Kong people but rather to listen to the central government.” 
8:54 a.m. ET, June 12, 2019

Thousands of protesters remain, but they're scattered. Here's what it looks like now.

From CNN's James Griffiths, Julia Hollingsworth, Rebecca Wright, Jo Shelley and Helen Regan

Protesters rallying against Hong Kong's controversial extradition bill have been cleared from the Legislative Council building area — but thousands remain on the surrounding roads.

In front of City Hall, a large number of protesters are attempting to reinforce their improvised barrier across Harcourt Road.

Protesters gather on Harcourt Road in front of City Hall.
Protesters gather on Harcourt Road in front of City Hall. Rebecca Wright

In front of Pacific Place on Queensway, lines of police are holding the road in stages, while a couple thousand protesters gather in front of barricades.

Protesters gather by on Queensway as police look on.
Protesters gather by on Queensway as police look on. Jo Shelley

CNN's James Griffiths is on the ground. He says protests have stalled somewhat on Cotton Tree Drive and Queensway heading towards Central: Both groups of protesters have been fairly stationary for at least 30 mins.

Barricades by Pacific Place where crowds of protesters are gathered.
Barricades by Pacific Place where crowds of protesters are gathered. James Griffiths

CNN's Julia Hollingsworth, who is also on the ground, says that though the number of protesters may have dropped from earlier in the day, there are still thousands spread across Admiralty and Central districts.

Crowds on Connaught Road leading to Central district.
Crowds on Connaught Road leading to Central district. Julia Hollingsworth

People are moving towards Central, with a much bigger crowd there at 8 p.m. local time than a few hours before.

Protesters move towards Central, with crowds near World Wide House between Connaught Road Central, Pedder Street and Des Voeux Road Central.
Protesters move towards Central, with crowds near World Wide House between Connaught Road Central, Pedder Street and Des Voeux Road Central. Julia Hollingsworth

9:35 a.m. ET, June 12, 2019

Freedom was removed from us "piece by piece," protester says

From CNN's Julia Hollingsworth

Suki Ma, a 27-year-old building surveyor, said she wasn’t surprised the police used force, although she was quite angry.

"They (protesters) did not do anything against the police," she said. “Carrie Lam didn’t do anything for Hong Kong people."

Some background: Police fired tear gas and rubber bullets at protesters in Hong Kong on Wednesday, hours after tens of thousands of mostly young people surrounded the city's government headquarters. They're rallying against a controversial bill that would allow fugitives to be extradited to China. Carrie Lam, the leader of Hong Kong, has defended the bill.

Ma said she will keep fighting until the end, as she believes this will be Hong Kong’s last protest, although she doesn’t plan to stay the night as it may be too dangerous.

“The Chinese government want to take our freedom,” she said. “We have freedom when we are born. After 1997 (when Hong Kong was handed back to China by the British), it was piece by piece removed from us.”

She didn’t believe the protests would ultimately change anything, but she came out anyway.

“We cant change the final ending. It will still be the same,” she said, referring to how Hong Kong would become completely part of China in the next few decades.

9:33 a.m. ET, June 12, 2019

Hong Kong pro-democracy leaders to Carrie Lam: "you are selling out Hong Kong"

From CNN’s Eric Cheung 

Pro-democracy lawmaker Roy Kwong chants slogans as protesters occupy outside Legislative Council.
Pro-democracy lawmaker Roy Kwong chants slogans as protesters occupy outside Legislative Council. PHILIP FONG/AFP/Getty Images

Hong Kong Pro-democracy lawmakers Claudia Mo and Roy Kwong held a press conference earlier today expressing solidarity with protesters and calling for Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam to resign.

“Carrie Lam, have you gone crazy? You are now treating Hong Kongers as your enemy,” Kwong said during the presser. “You are declaring war on our generation. It is clear and simple ... You said that if the mainstream opinion believed you were not fit to be the Chief Executive you would resign. Please fulfill your election promises.”  

9:31 a.m. ET, June 12, 2019

At least 22 people injured in Hong Kong protests

From CNN's Ben Westcott

A protester is helped by medical volunteers after being hit with tear gas fired by police during the protests on June 12 in Hong Kong.
A protester is helped by medical volunteers after being hit with tear gas fired by police during the protests on June 12 in Hong Kong. Anthony Wallace/AFP/Getty Images

A spokesman for Hong Kong's Hospital Authority said that 22 people had been injured in the protests on Wednesday, as of 6 p.m. local time.

He said there had been 16 men and 6 women injured, some of whom were still undergoing treatment while others were stable.

Separately a spokesman for the Information Services Department said 10 of the injured were stable, and six had already been discharged. The condition of six others was "unknown."

So far, there have been no fatalities reported from Wednesday's divisive protests.

The health authority spokesman said he didn't know how badly the injured had been hurt or whether they were predominantly police or protesters.

Currently they are located at two hospitals in central Hong Kong -- the Queen Mary and the Ruttonjee.

8:20 a.m. ET, June 12, 2019

Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam: It is "undeniable that this law is controversial"

From CNN's Phoebe Lai

Chief Executive Carrie Lam speaks during a press conference at the government headquarters in Hong Kong on June 10, 2019.
Chief Executive Carrie Lam speaks during a press conference at the government headquarters in Hong Kong on June 10, 2019. ANTHONY WALLACE/AFP/Getty Images

On the same day that protestors took to the streets of Hong Kong and a second reading of the Hong Kong bill was stalled, Carrie Lam, the Chief Executive of Hong Kong, said it is "undeniable that this law is controversial."

In an interview with Hong Kong's TVB, Lam conceded that "whether to set up this law or not for the good of Hong Kong, our view is like this: It is undeniable the law is controversial, allowing more explanations and discussions will be helpful, but it will not eliminate worries and controversies concerning the law completely."

When asked about the protests, Lam said:

"I am worried that youngsters are engaged in this. I am sad to see many have joined this because Hong Kong has always been a calm and sensible society."

"They say I sold out Hong Kong, how could I?" she added. "I am born here and I live here with everyone I have sacrificed myself to Hong Kong."

7:59 a.m. ET, June 12, 2019

It's 8 p.m. in Hong Kong. Here's where the protests stand now.

ANTHONY WALLACE/AFP/Getty Images
ANTHONY WALLACE/AFP/Getty Images

It's 8 p.m. local time in Hong Kong, where protesters have been rallying all day against a controversial extradition bill.

Here's what you need to know about the protests:

  • What the protesters want: They're demonstrating against a proposed law that would allow Hong Kong to extradite fugitives to territories where it doesn't have formal extradition deals, including mainland China, Taiwan and Macau. 
  • What the bill could mean: Opponents of the bill say it could mean democracy activists, journalists and foreign business owners could be surrendered to mainland China. Remember: Hong Kong is a semi-autonomous city, which has a separate legal system and political system to mainland China. It allows citizens to enjoy freedoms not protected on the mainland.
  • How police have reacted: Police have used tear gas and rubber bullets to push back against the protests. Hong Kong Police Commissioner Steven Lo Wai-chung classified the demonstrations as “a riot," saying the police have “no choice but to start to use force.”
  • What happens next? Hong Kong’s Legislative Council postponed a second debate of the contentious bill, blaming road blockage around the Legislative Council building due to tens of thousands of protesters.
7:30 a.m. ET, June 12, 2019

Exhausted police rest after day of protests

From CNN's Rusty Foulkes

Police officers take rest in the Legislative Council building.
Police officers take rest in the Legislative Council building. Rusty Foulkes

Images from CNN's Rusty Foulkes show Hong Kong police officers with their riot gear resting in the Legislative Council building.

Some 5,000 police officers were deployed to control the protesters today.

Police officers rest after a day of protests.
Police officers rest after a day of protests. Rusty Foulkes