This is the latest news in Hong Kong's ongoing fight against an extradition law which would see people from Hong Kong being sent to the mainland for trial.
A brief update:
Yesterday Hong Kong's Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor said the controversial bill would be scrapped. But Hong Kong's pan-democrats want to press ahead with today's protest.
At a press conference on Saturday, Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor said the suspension would allow officials to “restart communication” with the public and prevent further clashes between police and protesters.
But the convenor of the Civil Human Right Front, Jimmy Sham Tsz-kit, expressed disappointment at Lam’s remarks, and said by announcing a suspension of the bill, she had failed to address Hongkongers’ demand to withdraw the legislation.
A protester died late Saturday when he fell from a building where he had been holding an hours-long anti-extradition protest.
He had unfurled a banner saying: “Entirely withdraw China extradition bill. We were not rioting. Released students and the injured”.
Critics were also angry that Lam missed repeated opportunities to apologise for what many saw as heavy-handed police tactics.
Police said they had no choice but to use force to meet violent protesters who besieged their lines outside the city’s parliament on Wednesday.
But critics - including legal and rights groups - say officers used the actions of a tiny group of violent protesters as an excuse to unleash a sweeping crackdown on the predominantly young, peaceful protesters.
“The pro-democracy group will not stop at this point, they want to build on the momentum against Carrie Lam,” political analyst Willy Lam told AFP. “They will keep the heat on and ride the momentum.”
Flowers and written tributes were already beginning to pile up outside the high-end Pacific Place mall, while demonstrators attending Sunday’s rally were being urged to bring a flower to pay their respects and attend an evening candlelight vigil.
Our reporting team today: Kelly Ho, Joanne Ma, Kelly Fung, Doris Wai. Junior Reporters out today: Pauline Wong, Cyrus Chu, Charlotte Fong. Agencies: Agence France Presse
New banner at Lion Rock: DEFEND HONG KONG pic.twitter.com/AqIDvNpyFP— Civil Defence Warden Paddy (香港) (@HighlandPaddyHK) June 16, 2019
Crowds are already on their way to the march area. . .
[UPDATE - Sunday, 11.26pm]
Jimmy Sham Tsz-kit and other organisers Civil Human Rights Front greet the crowd at the protest tonight. Sham said protesters reject Lam's apology and made five points the Front was seeking to resolve this dispute:
- complete withdrawal of the extradition bill
- for police to be held accountable for the decision to shoot
- to release the arrested protesters and withdraw all charges against them
- to retract the characterisation of prosters as rioters
- for Carrie Lam to resign
While crowds have thinned there are still many people at government headquarters who seem resigned to spending the night. People are chanting slogans about local news television station TVB for biased reporting in Beijing's favour. Their voices drowned out any hope Sham had of holding a press conference with media on the spot, including Young Post.
Meanwhile police estimate the crowd was around 338,000 strong at its peak, but admitted it had not counted protesters who were walking outside the original march route. Police say they have been publicly scolded, rejected by other departments and given the cold shoulder in restaurants over the events during the protests.
In a letter to members of Junior Police Officers’ Association, obtained by the Post, its chairman Lam Chi-wai paid tribute to the force’s efforts in dealing with protesters, despite the risk of injury, but added they were now being smeared as part of a backlash.
“Since the June 12 riot, the police are facing huge pressure,” said Lam, adding even officers’ families were having to endure abuse.
[UPDATE - Sunday, 11.00pm]
Organisers announce an epic 2 million people marched today. Police figures still outstanding.
[UPDATE - Sunday, 10.19pm]
As the protest die-hards settle in for the night, organisers say people in the social work sector plan to gather at Lockhart Road Playground around 11am tomorrow, while students will be gathering in Edinbrugh Place at the same time. They also mentioned that if the public wants to donate money to those injured or arrested, there is a place set up in Civic Square.
[UPDATE - Sunday, 9.10pm]
Bloomberg reports: Lam apologised to Hong Kong’s public in a statement, saying again that the government has stopped work on the bill.
“For the public to express their opinions in a peaceful and rational way, the Chief Executive clearly heard and agreed that this is precisely the spirit of mutual respect and harmony that Hong Kong has always demonstrated as a civilized, free, open and pluralistic society. The government values and cherishes these core values of Hong Kong,” she said.
“In view of the strong disparate views of the community, the Government has stopped the work of the Legislative Council General on the revision of the Fugitive Offenders Ordinance. It is hoped that this will allow the community to restore calm and avoid any harm. The government reiterated that there is no timetable for restarting the process.”
She added: “Many members of the public are disappointed and saddened. The chief executive apologizes to the public and promises to accept it with the utmost sincerity and humility.”
[UPDATE - Sunday, 8.47pm]
Carrie Lam apologises
[UPDATE - Sunday, 8.05pm]
Tributes are still pouring in for the anti-extradition law protester who fell to his death on Saturday night.
[UPDATE - Sunday, 7.37pm]
#LIVE: The crowd at Harcourt Road keeps growing after marchers occupied it, causing traffic to grind to a halt. It was a key stronghold during 2014's Occupy movement and last week's protest https://t.co/Y9Ne9Ncgn0 #extraditionbill Photo: @hkchrislau pic.twitter.com/1HbvSkwPvF— SCMP News (@SCMPNews) June 16, 2019
[UPDATE - Sunday, 7.14pm]
Protesters are throwing hell money, made from joss paper (typically offerings for the dead), into the Wan Chai Police headquarters. #extraditionbill #hongkongextraditionlaw #protest pic.twitter.com/DHZSdJYKOC— SCMP Young Post (@youngposthk) June 16, 2019
[UPDATE - Sunday, 7.14pm]
Protesters on Hennessy Road between Wan Chai and Admiralty are using the flash on their mobile phones in imitation of candle lights as night falls.
[UPDATE - Sunday, 7.04pm]
Room is being made by the protesters to allow traffic to make a U-turn so that they can find alternate routes.
[UPDATE - Sunday, 6.55pm]
Police asked the protesters who were blocking the main vehicle lanes to make way for the stranded buses. The protesters cooperated with the request.
[UPDATE - Sunday, 6.43pm]
Protesters have spilled out from the pedestrian paths on Harcourt Road and blocked off all the vehicle lanes of the main road.
People are now climbing over the barriers across Harcourt Road in Admiralty, occupying the road and bringing traffic to a standstill. #extraditionbill #hongkongextraditionlaw #protest pic.twitter.com/pN9GjSmQJz— SCMP Young Post (@youngposthk) June 16, 2019
[UPDATE - Sunday, 6.37pm]
A live feed of Hennessy Road near Wanchai shows a sea of protesters clad in black as they march towards Legco. (Via SCMP and Associated Press)
[UPDATE - Sunday, 6.27pm]
A time lapse video of Hennessy Road near Causeway Bay taken at the beginner of the protest.
[UPDATE - Sunday, 6.06pm]
MTR trains are stopping at Causeway Bay and Tin Hau stations again.
[UPDATE - Sunday, 6.01pm]
People have left handwritten messages on a wall near Pacific Place for the anti-extradition law protester who fell to his death on Saturday night. This one reads: "Thank you for your sacrifice for Hong Kong. We will keep on walking together to finish what you set out to achieve earlier."
[UPDATE - Sunday, 5.43pm]
Protesters entering Tamar Park.
[UPDATE - Sunday, 5.25pm]
Protesters are making their way to Tamar Park from Queensway.
[UPDATE - Sunday, 5.18pm]
Via SCMP, some protesters are beginning their march from Fortress Hill MTR station (four stops away from Admiralty station) because of the crowds and disrupted service at Tin Hau and Causeway Bay MTR stations.
[UPDATE - Sunday, 5.05pm]
Protesters at Victoria Park have mostly set out from the starting point of the march.
[UPDATE - Sunday, 5.02pm]
Crowds are huge inside Central MTR station, on the platform for trains heading eastbound towards Chai Wan.
[UPDATE - Sunday, 4.58pm]
Via SCMP, a secondary student surnamed Chan and her classmates have joined the march today, while also studying for an exam tomorow.
“I marched last Sunday too," she said. "This is more important than my exam tomorrow, because this is the future of our young generation. If we don’t come out today, there may not be a tomorrow for us to come out."
[UPDATE - Sunday, 4.55pm]
A Taiwanese flag on Hennessy Road near Causeway Bay.
[UPDATE - Sunday, 4.42pm]
An epic “picnic” at Tamar Park as organisers ask marchers to fill the lawn.
[UPDATE - Sunday, 4.31pm]
Marchers hold up creative signs near Immigration Tower in Wanchai. One depicts Carrie Lam as Thanos and the other as a man-eating giant from popular Japanese manga Attack on Titan.
[UPDATE - Sunday, 4.25pm]
Signs imitating the police "Don't charge" warning signs seem to be popular.
[UPDATE - Sunday, 4.16pm]
Despite the crackdown on Hong Kong independence, the flags are out today.
[UPDATE - Sunday, 4.11pm]
Civic Square is closed off to protesters today. There’s also a significantly lower number of police out today at Tamar Park.
[UPDATE - Sunday, 3.57pm]
A sign that says "Don't shoot our students" and a Chinese sign that says, "Withdraw the bill, we are not rioting, release our wounded students, Carrie Lam step down." carried on Hennessy Road near Wanchai.
[UPDATE - Sunday, 3.55pm]
Two secondary school students wear protective gear to protest against the use of excessive force uesed by HK Police previously.
[UPDATE - Sunday, 3.55pm]
Trains have begun stopping at Tin Hau MTR station again.
[UPDATE - Sunday, 3.42pm]
Mourners Pacific Place wait patiently to place flowers at the spot where a protester who fell to his death on Saturday night.
[UPDATE - Sunday, 3.34pm]
SCMP reports there is also a 500-strong protest in the Australian city of Adelaide have gathered to demand withdrawal of the bill. The words on the umbrellas read, "Love and tears".
[UPDATE - Sunday, 3.27pm]
A protester holds a sign saying "Brave mums / Shame on HK police" near Immigration Tower in Wanchai. Carrie Lam recieved wide-spread condemnation for likening herself to a mother of Hong Kong.
[UPDATE - Sunday, 3.21pm]
Mr Tse, who only wishes to be identified by his last name, has been consistently attending anti-government protests. He brought flowers and a self-made flag saying “Hong Kong never dies” to mourn the man who fell to his death yesterday, and also reaffirm the city’s resilient spirit.
[UPDATE - Sunday, 3.16pm]
This massive banner that reads "Bitter and hateful lamentations" is on its way out of Victoria Park.
[UPDATE - Sunday, 3.06pm]
Hennessy Road near Causeway Bay is a complete sea of black.
[UPDATE - Sunday, 3.06pm]
People are placing flowers outside Pacific Place in rememberance of the man who fell to his death on Saturday night.
[UPDATE - Sunday, 2.53pm]
A protester on Hennessy Road holds up white flowers and a sign that says, "Stop killing us"
[UPDATE - Sunday, 2.51pm]
A resource-gathering station outside Wanchai Station is stockpiling umbrellas, cling wrap, towels and the ubiquitous umbrellas.
[UPDATE - Sunday, 2.45pm]
Reverend Chu Yiu-ming, one of the founders of 2014's Occupy Central movement, sings the hymn Sing Hallelujah to the Lord to the passing crowd outside Wanchai MTR station.
[UPDATE - Sunday, 2.42pm]
Victoria Park is quickly filling up.
[UPDATE - Sunday, 2.38pm]
MTR Corp says there are crowd control measures being deployed at certain station on the Island Line, and trains may not stop at certain stations. SCMP reports trains will not stop at Tin Hau station.
[UPDATE - Sunday, 2.27pm]
Protesters are flooding into Victoria Park from Tin Hau MTR. Here some youngsters wait to cross the road, holding up a banner saying “Retract the extradition bill, justice for June 12th”
[UPDATE - Sunday, 2.24pm]
Political parties are starting to put up flags with their party names along Hennessy Road in Causeway Bay ahead of the 2.30pm official start time.
[UPDATE - Sunday, 2.14pm]
Admiralty MTR station is a sea of black, as people prepare to go to Victoria Park in Causeway Bay to begin today’s march.