Protesters stormed the legislative building and police tried to clear them with tear gas.

Twenty-two years ago, on July 1, 1997, the United Kingdom handed Hong Kong back to China on the promise that China would allow the city-state to largely govern itself for another 50 years.

But many in Hong Kong see a controversial new extradition law as a sign that Beijing is trying to cut that timeline short, and they’re fighting back.

Tens of thousands of demonstrators have taken to the streets in the past two months to protest against the bill that would allow Hong Kong authorities to arrest people and send them to places that don’t have formal extradition treaties with Hong Kong’s government — such as China.

But the demonstrations have morphed into a larger fight to preserve the judicial and political independence of Hong Kong and the freedoms of speech and protest that come with them.

On Monday, protesters seized on the symbolism of the July 1 anniversary and swarmed the streets once again to challenge the Hong Kong government, which they see as overly beholden to and controlled by the authorities in Beijing.

While tens of thousands marched peacefully, some protesters stormed the legislative building, breaking glass and twisting metal to get inside. Once there, they spray-painted the walls. One message read, “HK Gov fucking disgrace.”

Police eventually marched in to clear the protesters early Tuesday morning local time, spraying tear gas to force them away from the government buildings. At least 50 protesters were injured, according to reports.

The violence and chaos of Monday’s protest represented the frustration and the anger at Hong Kong’s leadership. But for now, the stalemate continues.

Or as one Hong Kong resident and protester wrote to me over WhatsApp: “We have not come to an end game yet.”

Here are some of the photos from the most recent protests.

The July 1 protests brought tens of thousands to the streets of Hong Kong

Kin Cheung/AP Photo
Protesters take over the streets of Hong Kong on July 1.
Kin Cheung/AP Photo
Protesters during a rally in Hong Kong on July 1, 2019.
Kin Cheung/AP Photo
The sun illuminates some Hong Kong protesters and leaves others in shadows on July 1, 2019.

Protesters surround and storm the legislative council building

Anthony Wallace/AFP/Getty Images
Protesters gather outside the government headquarters in Hong Kong on July 1, 2019.
Philip Fong/AFP/Getty Images
Protesters attempt to break a window at the legislative council, headquarters for the Hong Kong government, on July 1, 2019.
Anthony Wallace/AFP/Getty Images
Protesters shatter glass windows as they try to get inside the legislative building on July 1, 2019.
Vivek Prakash/AFP/Getty Images
Protesters outside the Hong Kong legislative building on July 1, 2019, framed by smashed glass.
Dale De La Rey/AFP/Getty Images
Protesters outside the legislative building in Hong Kong, stretching back from the entrance of the building demonstrators sought to breach, on July 1, 2019.
Vincent Yu/AP Photo
Protesters outside the legislative council building in Hong Kong on July 1, 2019.

The demonstrators occupy the chamber of the legislative council

Vincent Yu/AP Photo
Protesters force themselves inside the legislative building in Hong Kong on July 1, 2019.
Vivek Prakash/AFP/Getty Images
A protester in hard hat inside the legislative chamber after protesters got inside on July 1, 2019.
Anthony Wallace/AFP/Getty Images
Protesters (and reporters) occupy seats in legislative chamber on July 1, 2019.
Vivek Prakash/AFP/Getty Images
Protesters stand near graffitied walls in Hong Kong’s legislative building on July 1, 2019. After breaking into the chambers, they defaced portraits and spray-painted anti-government messages on the walls.
Philip Fong/AFP/Getty Images
A protester defaces the Hong Kong emblem after protesters broke into the legislative chamber on July 1, 2019. The protester is framed by umbrellas, a symbol of Hong Kong’s past protest movement.
Vernon Yuen/NurPhoto via Getty Images
A protester waves the flag of the United Kingdom on July 1, 2019, inside the legislative chamber — a potent symbol given that Hong Kong used to be a British colony.
Anthony Wallace/AFP/Getty Images
Shattered glass is seen after protesters broke into the government headquarters in Hong Kong on July 1, 2019.

Hong Kong police confront protesters

Vernon Yuen/NurPhoto via Getty Images
Police officers stand in formation, shields up, outside the legislative council building in Hong Kong in the early morning hours of July 2, 2019.
Kin Cheung/AP Photo
Police officers with protective gear retake the meeting hall of the legislative council building in Hong Kong during the early hours of Tuesday, July 2, 2019. Protesters’ graffiti can be seen on the walls in the background.
Anthony Wallace/AFP/Getty Images
Police face off against protesters on the streets of Hong Kong in the early morning hours of July 2, 2019, after demonstrators forced their way into the legislative building in Hong Kong.
Anthony Wallace/AFP/Getty Images
Police fire tear gas to get protesters to disperse near the government headquarters in Hong Kong on July 2, 2019.
Vincent Yu/AP Photo
A protester douses another protester’s eyes with water after she’s sprayed with tear gas outside the legislative council building in Hong Kong, during the early hours of Tuesday, July 2, 2019.
Kin Cheung/AP Photo
Clouds of tear gas can be seen outside the legislative building on July 2, 2019.

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Author:

Jen Kirby

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