Hong Kong was plunged into a fresh political crisis on Sunday night after more than half a million people took to the streets to thwart a proposed extradition law that would allow suspects to be sent to mainland China to face trial.
Organizers said the turnout outstripped a demonstration in 2003 when 500,000 hit the streets to challenge government plans for tighter national security laws.
Those laws were later shelved and a key government official forced to resign. Sunday’s outpouring was already raising the pressure on the administration of Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam and her official backers in Beijing.
“She has to withdraw the bill and resign,” veteran Democratic Party lawmaker James To told crowds outside the city’s parliament and government headquarters on Sunday night.
“The whole of Hong Kong is against her.”