Hongkongers of every age, profession and background, from every corner of the city, march in a massive show of solidarity and defiance. Source: SCMP
Centre of city brought to a complete standstill as the masses march to chastise Lam for refusing to withdraw bill or apologise when first asked to
Six hours after protesters transform Central, Wan Chai and Admiralty into a sea of black, public apology comes in the form of government statement
Nearly 2 million protesters flooded the streets of Hong Kong on Sunday, organisers claimed, delivering a stunning repudiation of Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor’s governance and forcing a public apology out of the city’s leader over her campaign to bulldoze a controversial extradition bill through the legislature.
A day after Lam suspended her push for the bill, expecting it to defuse a crisis that has seen violent clashes between mostly young protesters and police, the centre of Hong Kong was brought to a complete standstill as the masses marched to chastise her for refusing to withdraw the bill or apologise when first asked to, and declaring that nothing short of her resignation would satisfy them now.
Just the day before, Lam had said she would hit the pause button on the bill but take another shot at it to build a bigger consensus, as there was still a need to allow the transfer of fugitives to mainland China and other jurisdictions with which Hong Kong has no extradition deal.
A day later, six hours after protesters had transformed Central, Wan Chai and Admiralty into a sea of black, the public apology they were demanding came in the form of a government statement at night.
“The chief executive admitted that the deficiencies in the government’s work had led to substantial controversies and disputes in society, causing disappointment and grief among the people,” it read.
“[She] apologised to the people of Hong Kong for this and pledged to adopt a most sincere and humble attitude to accept criticisms and make improvements in serving the public.”
A government source said the bill would die a “natural death” without a timetable to relaunch it.