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Protesters are seen inside a chamber after they broke into the Legislative Council building during the anniversary of Hong Kong's handover to China in Hong Kong Protesters are seen inside a chamber after they broke into the Legislative Council building during the anniversary of Hong Kong's handover to China in Hong Kong 

Hong Kong protesters storm government building

In Hong Kong, a group of protesters on Monday took over the government’s legislative chamber, spray painting slogans on the wall and over the territory's emblem. Protests escalate as the former British colony marks the 22nd anniversary of handover to Chinese rule.

By Linda Bordoni

Some protesters stood on the desks of lawmakers  while others reportedly climbed up to leave their messages on the soaring wooden wall of the government’s legislative chambers.

Police appear to have retreated to avoid a confrontation, giving the protesters the run of the building.

Meanwhile, tens of thousands of others marched through the city to demand expanded democracy on the 22nd anniversary of the former British colony's return to China.

The protesters say the Hong Kong government is not responding to their demands for a full withdrawal of contentious extradition legislation and the resignation of the cities embattled leader Carrie Lam.

It is but the latest in a series of rallies and protests over a government attempt to change extradition laws to allow suspects to be sent to China to face trial.

Protesters claim the proposed legislation, on which debate has been suspended indefinitely, could erode freedoms in the territory, which Britain returned to China on July 1, 1997.

Lam, who has come under much pressure for trying to push the legislation through, pledged to be more responsive to public sentiment but, as yet, has not responded directly to protesters' demands.

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01 July 2019, 16:35