A Timeline of Hong Kong protests: Where are they heading to?

Hong Kong
Hong Kong protest YouTube grab

Hong Kong, the former British colony, has been simmering under protests since February 2019 against Chinese government's decision to bring in the Fugitive Offenders and Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters Legislation (Amendment) Bill 2019 which allows criminals from the semi-autonomous region to be extradited to mainland China.

People are out on streets following the publication of the now withdrawn bill, against China's systemic erosion of the region's judicial system and the right to protest under "one nation, two system" agreement.

The protests have now turned into a movement with demonstrators coming up with further demands of complete withdrawal of the extradition bill, withdrawal of the description "riot" used on June 12 protests, an amnesty for all arrested protesters, an independent inquiry into alleged police brutality, universal suffrage in elections for Hong Kong's chief executive (the territory's leader) and Legislative Council, and resignation of Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam.

Here is the timeline of protests in Hong Kong, the semi-autonomous region, that was handed back to China in 1997:

February 2019

The Chinese government brings out the proposal of the Fugitive Offenders and Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters Legislation (Amendment) Bill 2019 to establish a mechanism for transfer of fugitives to mainland China.

March 29, 2019

The government publishes the bill, introduced in response to a murder case in Taiwan in March 2018, so that arrangements for mutual legal assistance can be made between Hong Kong and any place outside the region.

June 9, 2019

Hundreds of thousands of demonstrators take to streets against the bill, making it a global level crisis.

June 15, 2019

Hong Kong administration suspends the bill and Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam in a statement claims that the bill "was indefinitely delayed". But Chinese authorities impose censor on posts mentioning terms such as "Hong Kong", "Hong Kong government", "1.03 million" (the reported number of protesters on June 9), "Causeway Bay" and "Victoria Park" (areas where protesters gathered) on Sina Weibo microblog.

June 16

Despite Lam's statement, over two million people come out on streets demanding the bill be completely withdrawn and call for her resignation.

July 1

On the anniversary of the handover of Hong Kong to China from Britain, demonstrators storm the Legislative Council (LegCo) building and spray graffiti on the walls displaying the colonial-era flag and defacing Hong Kong's regional emblem.

July 21

Protesters on a weekend besiege the Liaison Office of the Central People's Government in Hong Kong and deface a national emblem. The demonstrators also paint words insulting China.

The same night, some men in white shirts appear in Hong Kong's Yuen Long district and begin beating black clothed protesters. Hong Kongers call them groups of thugs affiliated to gangsters called triads.

August 2

Civil servants, who are supposed to be politically neutral, join demonstrations in thousands, and by this time the protests turn into a movement for greater democracy and autonomy.

August 11

Demonstrations enter into 10th week, with no signs of protests diluting or dying down. Police fires tear gas at protesters and a protester gets injured in the eye, leading to intense agitation in the region.

August 12

Protesters gather at Hong Kong airport, leading to hundreds of flights being cancelled amid a standoff between the police and activists. Violent clashes occur between demonstrators and police.

August 14

Twitter and Facebook take initiatives to block "state-backed Chinese misinformation campaigns". Twitter said it removed 936 accounts, which it says were being used to "sow political discord in Hong Kong". Facebook stated that it blocked "seven pages, three groups and five Facebook accounts".

August 18

A calm weekend of protests with no sign of violence amid heavy police presence allowing peaceful demonstrations.

August 24

Some protesters throw firebombs and the police use tear gas at them.

August 25

The police deploy water cannons as Sunday protests turn violent, following nearly weeks of calm, with clashes between activists and police erupting in the New Territories.

August 28

Hong Kong police on Saturday ban a pro-democracy rally and a march by the Civil Human Rights Front citing concerns over public order. The police say previous confrontations between protesters and police have led to the ban.

August 30

Hong Kong pro-democracy activist Joshua Wong, who was a poster child of Hong Kong's "Umbrella Movement" in 2014 for universal suffrage, was arrested along with two other prominent activists — Andy Chan and Agnes Chow.

September 1

Hong Kong protesters on Sunday accuse the police of hitting people with batons, using tear gas and pepper spray as violent clashes break out at Hong Kong metro. The MTR, operating Hong Kong metro, in a statement said it shut three stations -- Prince Edward, Mongkok, and Kowloon Bay -- in view of the violent clashes.

September 3

After an audio recording gets leaked of Hong Kong CEO Carrie Lam saying "she would have resigned, if she had a choice", the leader said she never tendered her resignation to China. The leaked video creates a controversy amid speculations that Beijing is calling shots over law and order in the semi-autonomous region.

September 4

Lam announces to officially withdraw the controversial extradition bill that led to months of protests in the city. The leader also comes up with many other measures to soothe the unrest in Hong Kong, which the protesters termed as "too little, too late".

September 6

German Chancellor Angela Merkel in a visit to Beijing raises the issue with Chinese Vice Premier Li Keqiang and calls for a peaceful solution to the unrest in the city.

September 8

The protesters, unsatisfied from Lam's withdrawal of the bill, marched to US consulate in the fresh wave of protests on Sunday, calling for US President Donald Trump's intervention to save the Chinese ruled city. The placards read: "President Trump, please save Hong Kong" and "Make Hong Kong great again."

September 9

Hundreds of school students across Hong Kong form human chain on Monday in support of anti-government and pro-democracy protesters going on in the city. Students, many of them wearing masks, joined hands and chanted "Hong Kong people, add oil", a phrase which has become a rallying cry for the protest movement.