June 9, 2019: One million Hong Kongers marched from Victoria Park to the government headquarters in Admiralty to demand the withdrawal of a bill that would allow for extradition of Hong Kong residents to mainland China. One in seven people in the city had endured the summer heat and braved the crowds to make their voice heard. Nevertheless, the government announced it would proceed with the bill.
June 12, 2019: Tens of thousands of young, unarmed protesters occupied the roads around the government complex, preventing the Legislative Council from meeting for a formal second and third reading of the bill. The protesters gave the government an afternoon deadline to withdraw the bill. The deadline passed, and a group of protesters tried to force their way into the LegCo offices. They were met with pepper spray, batons, tear gas, rubber bullets and bean bag rounds. It took police until well into the night to clear the streets. There were several injuries and arrests. A new protest march was scheduled for Sunday, June 16, and on Saturday, June 15, Chief Executive Carrie Lam announced she was suspending work on the bill, but refused to withdraw it altogether.
June 16, 2019: Nearly two million people braved the record crowds and sweltering summer sun to take part in the biggest outpouring of justified anger the city has ever seen. With almost one quarter of the population participating, it may be the biggest demonstration by any citizenry in modern history. The peaceful march, following the same route as the march the preceding week, saw young and old, students and families, turn out to demand the retraction of the bill, an apology for Wednesday’s police violence, and the resignation of Carrie Lam. The march ended at the government complex, which once more was surrounded. That evening the government issued a written apology. The following week Carrie Lam issued a personal apology and guaranteed she would not proceed with the bill until the rifts in society had been mended.
June 21, 2019: In groups of tens of thousands on the encrypted messaging app Telegram, protesters reiterated their demands that the bill be completely withdrawn, that demonstrators arrested be released, and that the government withdraw the riot charges. When those demands had not been met by the afternoon of June 20, protesters prepared for action the following day. Thousands of students surrounded the police headquarters in Wan Chai for 15 hours and blocked the highway next to the government offices in Admiralty. Their tactic quoted Bruice Lee: “Be water, my friend”. While some kept up pressure on the police HQ, others walked over to government offices in Wan Chai, forcing them to shut down. Police adopted a withdrawn posture. Overnight protesters went home and the situation resolved peacefully.