How Hong Kong's pro-democracy protests went from peaceful demonstrations to tear-gas-filled clashes in 3 months
Billy H.C. Kwok/Getty Images
- Pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong have brought violence to the city in the form of near-weekly clashes between police and activists.
- Protesters first pushed back against an extradition law in June with peaceful demonstrations, but tensions have since boiled over into clashes of tear gas and makeshift weaponry over larger democratic issues.
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Pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong descended into violent chaos over the weekend as authorities and protesters clashed and broke nearly two weeks of peace.
Hundreds of protesters shut down streets and wielded slingshots, poles, iron bars, and bricks in the fight with police that spiraled into chaos after a march that was planned as a peaceful protest over suspected surveillance techniques.
The incident offered an example of the movement's evolution from a peaceful protest into fiery clashes that Hong Kong police have spent more than 1,800 canisters of tear gas on since June. See how the demonstrations brought the country to a standstill and earned the ire of China.
June 9: An estimated one million people marched to the government headquarters against a proposed bill that would have allowed criminal suspects to be extradited to China.
June 15: Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam made a shock announcement that she would indefinitely delay the extradition bill.
June 16: Despite the announcement, an estimated two million people took to the streets to demand the bill be fully withdrawn and Lam resign.
July 1: Protests took a turn as demonstrators stormed the Legislative Council building and caused extensive damage.
July 9: Lam said again that the extradition bill was "dead," and pleaded with protesters to halt the demonstrations, but she again stopped short from fully withdrawing the bill.
July 20: The protests, though initially intended to be peaceful demonstrations, turned increasingly violent as protesters took up more weaponry.
August 5: Tensions reached new heights when protesters turned to city-wide strikes that froze subway lines and major roadways.
The same day as the subway protests, Carrie Lam gave her first media address in two weeks, saying Hong Kong was "on the verge of a very dangerous situation."
August 6: China issued its harshest warning yet to the protesters, warning them to not "play with fire."
August 11: Police fire tear gas at crowds across the city, even in residential neighborhoods and popular leisure areas.
August 12 and 13: Protesters caused their biggest disruption yet when they brought Hong Kong International Airport to a standstill.
The world's eighth-busiest airport being forced into a standstill didn't go unnoticed.
August 24: After nearly two weeks of peace, activists and police violently clashed again.
The fight with police that spiraled into chaos after a planned march against the government-installed "smart lampposts" that sparked concerns over state surveillance.
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