Organizers report that nearly two million people took part in a mass protest in Hong Kong against a controversial extradition bill.
Protesters took over major roads and surrounded the legislative council building. If confirmed, it would be the largest protest in Hong Kong’s history. Police claimed the turnout was only 338,000 people.
Most demonstrators wore black and many held flowers and made a memorial to mourn the death of a protester who fell from a ledge on Saturday, where earlier he had unfurled a banner with a protest statement against the extradition law.
Protesters carried placards that read “The students did not riot.” Police had called student protesting a riot – a crime punishable by 10 years in prison in Hong Kong.
Many fear the extradition law will be used against political opponents of the Chinese government.
The government had hoped to reduce public outrage by announcing a pause in the legislation on Saturday. Protesters insist they will settle for nothing less than the complete withdrawal of the bill.
A massive protest drew more than one million people last Sunday and demonstrations on Wednesday brought out tens of thousands, who blocked roads around government buildings. Scores of people have been injured during demonstrations.
Protesters continue to gather in Hong Kong in the early hours of Monday.