HONG KONG: Thousands of protesters took to the streets of Hong Kong on Sunday (Dec 8) to mark the six-month anniversary of a movement that was triggered by a controversial extradition Bill.
The city has seen peaceful and violent rallies since the Bill was introduced, with more than 1,000 people arrested, university campuses occupied, MTR stations smashed up and police responding with tear gas and bullets.
The Bill, which would have allowed extraditions to mainland China, was introduced after a murder in Taiwan. But even after the Bill was formally withdrawn – months after it was first introduced – the rallies and demonstrations continued.
How did it get to this?
Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam introduces amendments to the city’s extradition laws that would allow criminal suspects to be sent to mainland China.
Tens of thousands of people march on the Legislative Council building to demand the amendments are scrapped.
Large-scale protests begin in Hong Kong. More than 500,000 people, including lawyers, take to the streets.
Jun 12: Police fire tear gas into huge crowds of people, as the government shuts its offices. It is the first time tear gas has been used in the city since the Occupy movement.
Jul 1: Protesters storm the Legislative Council, using trolleys and poles to break into the building. It was also the 22nd anniversary of the handover to Chinese rule. Police leave the building before returning to force out the protesters hours after the break in.
Jul 9: Carrie Lam says the Bill is “dead” and that the government’s work on it was a “total failure”, but again stopped short of withdrawing it.
Jul 21: Men in white shirts storm a train in Yuen Long MTR station, attacking passengers and protesters. Questions are raised over the amount of time it took for police to reach the station.
End of Jul: The first protesters are charged in connection with the rallies.
Clashes in Hong Kong International Airport force flights to be cancelled or delayed. There are clashes nearly every weekend.
In a leaked recording of a meeting with business people, Carrie Lam said she would quit if she had a choice, but later said she never asked the Chinese government to let her resign.
Sep 4: Carrie Lam announces the Bill with be formally withdrawn next month and promises to hold talks to east tensions.
The violence escalates, as China’s Communist Party celebrates the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic.
In Hong Kong, the city sees some of the worst violence since the start of June.
Oct 4: Carrie Lam enacts colonial-era emergency law to ban face masks, and thousands take to the streets to defy the ban.
Oct 23: The extradition Bill is formally withdrawn, but it is just one of the five demands from the protesters.
End of October: Hong Kong slips into recession.
Clashes break out across Hong Kong as the protests continues. The formal withdrawal of the Bill has failed to appease the protesters.
Protesters take over popular shopping malls across Hong Kong, leaving some closed for months.
HKU and PolyU: University campuses are taken over by protesters, where they stay for days.
There are running battles across the city, as protesters put up barricades across main roads and police fire tear gas, rubber bullets and water cannon at demonstrators.
End of November: US passes two Bills supporting the protesters, warning sanctions on Hong Kong if certain criteria are not met.
Small rallies are called, with thousands of people marching in support of the US Bills.