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Hong Kong police move to forcibly clear protesters occupying legislature complex


Hong Kong chief executive Carrie Lam toasts with former chief executives Tung Chee-hwa, third from left, and Leung Chun-ying, second from left, during an indoor ceremony Monday marking the anniversary of the city’s handover from British to Chinese rule. (Jacky Cheung/AP)

July 1 -- The Washington Post


HONG KONG — Police used force early Tuesday to clear thousands of protesters in and around Hong Kong’s legislative building after some broke in and occupied it Monday, the 22nd anniversary of the semiautonomous city’s return to Chinese rule.


The escalation has brought Hong Kong into unprecedented and uncertain territory, and represents the biggest test of Beijing’s grip over the global financial hub and the status under which it operates.


On Tuesday morning, Hong Kong’s streets were reopened, the rush-hour traffic flowing through like on any other day.


But outside the Legislative Council building, piles of broken umbrellas, traffic cones and jumbled barricades zip-tied together by protesters littered the sidewalk. Cleanup and repair operations, which are expected to take weeks, had begun with garbage trucks carting away the wreckage. Police officers stood around the perimeter of the building, where tempered-glass doors and windows shattered by demonstrators had been cordoned off by flimsy blue-and-white tape. Graffiti denouncing the police could be seen just inside the major public entrance to the building.


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