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Reuters/Tyrone Siu
Hong Kong police use pepper spray on protestors.
CONFLICT

Hong Kong protestors and police are in a tense confrontation following march

By Kevin J. Delaney

Hong Kong protestors and police are in direct confrontation following the large-scale peaceful demonstration against the city’s proposed overhaul of its extradition law.

With the official permit for the march expired at midnight local time, the police have attempted to disperse crowds gathered by the Legislative Council Complex, according to reports in the South China Morning Post (SCMP) and on social media.

The SCMP was liveblogging the events.

The Hong Kong-based newspaper quoted a government official saying that protestors had caused serious injuries to police officers, attacking them with metal rods and barricades. Protestors and police officials were scrambling to control the latter.

Update: By the middle of the night Hong Kong time, the police had corralled the remaining protestors, whose numbers had greatly diminished, according to the SCMP.

The confrontation evokes the 2014 Umbrella Movement protests and Occupy Hong Kong sit-ins, which effectively shut down part of Hong Kong for 77 days. It comes amid broader concerns about China’s adherence to the “one country, two systems” principle under which the city has a certain amount of autonomy, and greater freedoms than in the mainland.

Organizers said that over 1 million people attended the Sunday march, while police estimated just 240,000, according to the SCMP.