The images of July 1, 2019, left an indelible mark on Hong Kong. After hundreds of thousands of protesters peacefully marched on the anniversary of the former British colony’s return to China, a small group broke into the Legislative Council, ransacking and vandalizing the chamber before police chased them off with tear gas. They left behind messages.
The graffiti painted on the walls of the defaced chamber -- some in Chinese, some in English -- help explain the deep social and political divides underpinning this summer’s protests in Hong Kong. The separatist, anti-China -- and at times desperate -- slogans show the challenge Beijing faces in trying to quiet dissent in the Asian financial center.