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Hong Kong protests: What graffiti in the parliament conveys



On Monday night, Hong Kong protesters broke into their parliamentary building, occupying the main chamber of the Legislative Council and vandalizing property. As the protesters entered the building, police initially retreated to avoid confrontation and give the demonstrators the run of the building.

For a few hours, protesters defaced portraits of lawmakers and spray-painted pro-democracy phrases in the chamber before being evicted by security forces.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said Beijing violated the violent acts that saw several hundred protesters breaking through glass and metal shutters to enter the building; Hong Kong's Chief Executive, Carrie Lam, said his protests were "extreme use of violence."

The graffiti was fixed and profound, but the messages left behind a great deal about the changing characteristics of these protests. 1

9659003] CHINA SAYS HONG KONG PROTESTERS 'STORMING OF GOVERNMENT BUILDING' TOTALLY INTOLERABLE '

The Emblem's Vandalism

 A protester defaces the Hong Kong emblem after they broke into the Legislative Council building in Hong Kong, Monday, July 1, 2019. Protesters in Hong Kong took over the legislature's main building Monday night, training down portraits of legislative leaders and spray painting pro-democracy slogans on the walls of the main chamber. / Kin Cheung)

A protester defaces the Hong Kong emblem after they broke into the Legislative Council building in Hong Kong, Monday, July 1, 2019. Protesters in Hong Kong took over the legislature ' s main building Monday night, down portraits of legislative leaders and spray painting pro-democracy slogans on the walls of the main chamber (AP Photo / Kin Cheung)
      

Hong Kong emblem on the central wall of the main chamber. It reads "Hong Kong" in English, but in Chinese, it says: "The Regional Emblem of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China."

Protesters spray-painted over the emblem covering the portion which read "People's Republic of China", only leaving Hong Kong's section on the emblem unscathed.

This act of vandalism portrays the demonstrators' eagerness to keep Hong Kong autonomous from mainland China, saving its freedoms, judicial independence, and its own legislature and economic system

Hong Kong emblem and banner reads "No thug, only tyranny" after the Legislative Council building in Hong Kong, Monday, July 1, 2019. Protesters in Hong Kong took over the legislature's main bui Monday night, down portraits of legislative leaders and spray painting pro-democracy slogans on the walls of the main chamber. (AP Photo / Kin Cheung) “/>

A protest shouts next to a defaced Hong Kong emblem and a banner reads " No thug, only tyranny "in the Legislative Council building in Hong Kong, Monday, July 1, 2019. Protesters in Hong Kong took over the legislature's main building Monday night, tearing down portraits of legislative leaders and spray painting pro-democracy. slogans on the walls of the main chamber (AP Photo / Kin Cheung)
      

Inside the Legislative Council building, protesters draped a Hong Kong colonial-era flag over a podium.

The message serves as a tribute to Hong Kong's history as a form colony to British rule, calling on its forms colonizers to confront China regarding the recent events. For 156 years, Hong Kong existed as a British colony until it was formally handed back to China in 1997; Yesterday was the 22nd anniversary celebrating independence from British rule.

While some believe the flag is a desire to return to British rule, Hong Kong journalist Alan Wong refutes the belief.

"Whatever the British Hong Kong flag means today, Beijing wouldn't be pleased to see it," said the Inkstone editor. "And that might have been the point of putting it in front of the world's cameras."

"Hong Kong's Sunflower"

 Protesters gather in the meeting hall of the Legislative Council in Hong Kong, Monday, July 1, 2019. Protesters in Hong Kong took over the legislature's main building Friday night, training down portraits of legislative leaders and spray painting pro-democracy slogans on the walls of the main chamber. (AP Photo / Kin Cheung)

Protesters gather in the meeting hall of the Legislative Council in Hong Kong, Monday, July 1, 2019. Protesters in Hong Kong took over the legislature's main building Friday night, tearing down portraits or legislative leaders and spray painting pro-democracy slogans on the walls of the main chamber. (AP Photo / Kin Cheung)
      

Protestors also spray-painted "Hong Kong's sunflower" on the wall in black, referring to the Sunflower Movement protests which occurred in Taiwan in 2014. During that time, students and activists in Taiwan occupy Taiwan's parliamentary stand against Beijing's growing influence about Taiwan

Hong Kong protesters believe the same is happening to their region right now.

"Peaceful Marches Did Not Work"

A demonstrator spray-painted a slogan on a column inside the Legislative Council building which reads, "It was you who told me peaceful marches did not work." her citizens.

Starting out peacefully demonstrating, Hong Kong is growing anxious that efforts in expressing their voices through civil means remain unheard; they are thus resorting to violent methods as depicted last night

"Freedom"

 Graffiti is seen sprayed on a machine inside the Legislative Council Complex on July 02, 2019 in Hong Kong, China. The Chinese characters read "freedom" (Photo by Billy H.C. Kwok / Getty Images)

Graffiti is seen sprayed on a machine inside the Legislative Council Complex on July 02, 2019 in Hong Kong, China. The Chinese characters read "freedom" (Photo by Billy H.C. Kwok / Getty Images)
      

Spray-painted on a computer screen inside the Legislative Council building reads the Chinese characters for "freedom" to show people in Hong Kong are protesting to preserve their region's unique sense of liberty, a characteristic absent from the mainland.

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China promised Hong Kong it would be able to preserve its freedoms until 2047, after the British handover in 1997; After 22 years of independence, many in Hong Kong believe they cannot live without them.

Fox News' Morgan Cheung and the Associated Press contributed to this report.


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