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Hong Kong Protesters Desperate Over Extradition Bill, Turn to Violence

07-02-2019
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HONG KONG - Angry young protesters in Hong Kong turned violent Monday out of frustration over the administration's deaf ears to their demand for the withdrawal of a controversial extradition bill. 

Riot police launched tear gas at the hardcore protesters after they violently stormed into the Legislative Council Building. It was a dramatic ending to what would have been a peaceful celebration of the 22nd anniversary of the handover of Hong Kong to mainland China.

In 1997, China agreed to a one country, two systems arrangement -- granting Hong Kong its own economic and legal system for 50 years.

But in recent years, Hong Kong residents have watched as Beijing has increased its sovereignty over the region. Most recently, that power was flexed in a controversial extradition bill giving China the right to take people accused of crimes from Hong Kong to the mainland.

Monday's traditional March for Democracy turned into a march of protest against the bill. Hundreds of thousands took to the streets shouting for the complete withdrawal of the bill and the resignation of Chief Executive Carrie Lam.

Pro-democracy activist Joshua Wong, who has just been released from jail is back in the streets fighting for the complete scrapping of the extradition bill. 

"Under the hardline suppression of President Xi, people around the world may have hesitation or keep silent, but we will not step backward until we have democracy," he said. 

Protesters charge that Beijing is not keeping its part of the agreement allowing Hong Kong to keep elements of independence.

They still have 28 years to go before that agreement ends, but they can already see and feel suppression from Beijing. Plus, Lam's administration seem to turn a deaf ear to their demands making the protesters even angrier. They are determined to fight for the rights that they can still enjoy.

Many Christians are joining the protests, gathering to worship and pray before marching in the streets.

"We can encourage Christians to come out," said Pastor Tin Yau Yuen. "Our purpose is to pray for Hong Kong. One day, the police shout to demonstrators, 'Ask your Jesus to come down.' But we told him "Jesus is here." I think it's a good witness."

Yuen is asking for more prayers, especially in the aftermath of the chaos that has now put Hong Kong in a more volatile political situation.

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