The protesters who succeeded in halting Hong Kong’s controversial extradition bill benefited from broad support among businesses and ordinary citizens. But Monday night’s ugly demonstrations risk losing some of that backing -- and giving a boost to the pro-Beijing leader they despise.
Asia’s financial capital was cleaning up its downtown Tuesday after protests coinciding with the anniversary of its 1997 handover to China morphed into a raucous takeover of the Hong Kong Legislative Council, its quasi-democratic legislature. Protesters wearing hardhats and protective goggles smashed their way into the building, spray-painting “HK IS NOT CHINA” on the walls and draping a colonial-era flag over the dais. Hours later, police stepped in to clear the streets with tear gas.