HONG KONG: Hong Kong's government headquarters were left damaged and defaced after hundreds of protesters stormed the parliament building on Monday (Jul 1), as the city marked the 22nd anniversary of Hong Kong's handover back to Chinese rule.
Smashing through the building's reinforced windows, demonstrators destroyed furniture and defaced walls during their hours-long occupation.
The police eventually retook the building in the early hours of Tuesday after firing tear gas to regain control.
In their wake, the protesters left banners, placards and various debris from their demonstration including umbrellas and metal poles.
Sprawling anti-government graffiti could be seen daubed onto the walls, lifts and furniture of the parliament building.
Portraits of the city's leaders were torn down, while a British colonial-era flag was put up in the main chamber.
Hong Kong's Chief Executive Carrie Lam condemned the "extremely violent" storming during a press conference early Tuesday.
She called Monday's events "heartbreaking and shocking" and said she hoped society would "return to normal as soon as possible".
However many of the protesters had said they were compelled to take action because their leaders had ignored previous marches and sit-ins.
LegCo day after pic.twitter.com/mLsnCuFKSr— Wei Du 杜唯 (@WeiDuCNA) July 1, 2019
Monday also saw thousands take part in another rally separate from the Legislative Council unrest.
Hong Kong has seen historic demonstrations in recent weeks, driven by demands for the withdrawal of an extradition Bill which would enable extraditions to the Chinese mainland.