Hong Kong Protest Updates: Police Use Tear Gas as Protests Inch Toward Legislature – The New York Times

“I hope that citizens could stay calm and leave the site soon without committing any crimes,” he said, adding that the bill was aimed only at criminals and would not be used to target political dissidents.

Similar assurances by pro-Beijing politicians have done little to quell the fear or suppress the outrage of regular Hong Kong residents.

Regina Ip, a pro-Beijing lawmaker and former cabinet minister, and her team were among those unable to enter the council building because protesters had blocked surrounding roads, said Emma Li, a spokeswoman for Ms. Ip’s New People’s Party.

Pro-democracy lawmakers and activists lauded the protests and thanked the people for their efforts.

“We all, myself included, we underestimated people power in Hong Kong,” Claudia Mo, a pro-democracy lawmaker, told a crowd of protesters. “We in particular underestimated the young people’s power in Hong Kong, and we thank you.”

In China, information about the protests was being carefully scrubbed from social media and messaging groups. The ruling Communist Party’s mouthpiece, the People’s Daily, published an article Wednesday describing the protesters as colluding with foreign anti-China forces to “create social conflict and obstruct the operation of the legislative council.”

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