Following the takeover of the Legislative Council building last night by mostly young protesters, Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor said at a 4am press conference today. She condemned the violence, and vowed to go after those who trashed the building and fled before riot police moved in.
Lam said she was angry and saddened by the violence and chaos. “I am very outraged and distressed and I strongly condemn it,” she said.
Lam said she had reflected on the unprecedented events on the July 1 anniversary of Hong Kong’s return to Chinese rule, and was willing to communicate with all sectors including the city’s youth.
“We have seen two entirely different public scenes. One is a regular march on July 1. Regardless of the number of participants in the march, the march was peaceful and generally orderly. This fully reflects the inclusiveness of Hong Kong society, and the core values we attach to peace and order,” Lam said at police headquarters.
She said the government would “pursue the lawbreaking behaviour to the end”.
Lam, who was joined by her No 2, Chief Secretary Matthew Cheung Kin-chung, Secretary for Security John Lee Ka-chiu, and Commissioner of Police Stephen Lo Wai-chung, said she hoped the community at large agreed the violent acts should be condemned, and society would return to normal as soon as possible.
Lam said it was not true that the government had not responded to the demands of those protesting against the bill, which would have allowed the transfer of suspects to jurisdictions with which Hong Kong did not have an extradition agreement, including mainland China.
“We have not responded to every demand because of good reasons,” she said.
“The bill will expire, or the bill will die, in July 2020 when the current Legco term expires. That is a very positive response to the demands we have heard.”
Lee said the protesters who stormed the building had broken several laws, including forcible entry under the Public Order Ordinance, possession of offensive weapons and possession of instruments fit for unlawful purposes under the Crimes Ordinance, and unauthorised entry under the Legislative Council (Powers and Privileges) Ordinance.