Return to Transcripts main page
Protests at Legislative Council Building; Trump and Kim Meet. Aired 2-3a ET
Aired July 1, 2019 - 02:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[02:00:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
ROSEMARY CHURCH, CNN ANCHOR: Hello, everyone. We start with breaking news. Anger boiling over in Hong Kong, this is the scene outside the Legislative Council, protesters trying to storm the building. This ahead of what is expected to be a massive march against the controversial Extradition Bill.
GEORGE HOWELL, CNN ANCHOR: Let's go live to Hong Kong. CNN's Anna Coren is following this in the middle of it all. Anna, what is happening right now?
ANNA COREN, CNN ANCHOR: George, I am at Tamar Park outside the Legislative Council Building, behind me. And those pictures that you see a few hundred meters away at the bottom of LegCo. As you say, Protesters have been trying to storm the building. That happened 20 minutes ago. We had feared that today would turn ugly. Unfortunately, those fears been realized.
We saw riot police rush in as those Protesters were using barricades, steel barricades to break the glass. We know that there are reports that police have pepper spray, teargas, also rubber bullet guns, and beanbag guns. Those weaponry, that weaponry was used during those ugly clashes a few weeks ago. Let's go straight to Andrew Stevens, who is down there monitoring the situation. Andrew, what is going on?
ANDREW STEVENS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Anna, we have just come out from inside this crowd here behind me, which fronts onto glass doors, which is an entrance to the Hong Kong parliament. And the Protesters have been using a trolley filled with (Inaudible) to ram the glass doors. And those glass doors, they're still holding up, but they are severely cracked now.
And inside the building, there are police. They have riot gear on. There have been warnings from the police saying that we will take force. And if that window, that glass behind me is bridged, it would be very difficult to say that they would not take force. We also know that the police have flown a black flag. There is a series of colored flags, which are warnings of severity.
The black flag is the most severe warning, saying that they are preparing to scale up their force. Now, what that could mean, it could mean the use of a lot more teargas. It could mean the use of rubber bullets, plus pepper spray, which is already seen this morning, as well as police with batons. There is a heavy presence of police. You can't see them.
But beyond these umbrellas further up the street, there are police with full riot gear, including wearing gas masks. And that's something we have not seen so far this day. Anna, about four hours ago, there was a skirmish. I guess it's the best way to describe it between protests of some police. The police cleared out a section of road using batons, using pepper spray, some use of teargas.
And they then basically evaporated. There was a two hour period where there was a standoff involving the police and the Protesters. Police then backed right off. Protesters regrouped. And now we have this situation with protesters. And at the moment, it seems to have to have stalled for the moment. Not hearing that ramming sound.
But this is where we are now. The protesters are trying to get in to LegCo, and the police warning they will use force, significant force if this continues.
COREN: Yeah. Andrew, we are looking at live pictures of that standoff that is going on. I was just down there with you in the last hour, and things seemed peaceful. Protesters had gathered there after this morning's scuffle. They seem to be regrouping. And obviously, they were discussing their next step, their next form of action. How did things get so ugly so quickly?
STEVENS: It's a great question. What has characterized these protests to (Inaudible) that there is no real leadership here. A lot of direction for protesters comes on social media outlets, for example. But you're right. There was discussions and it was a very sort of democratic process, if you like. The people were being handed the microphone to say what they think they should do next.
While you I were standing in the entrance to another to the Hong Kong parliament, there was a debate about whether they should storm the building. And obviously, that was a decision (Inaudible). And they moved around here en masse to stall the building. Why it's suddenly turned so confrontational is not clear, because there was several hours where the protesters seemed to be happy to regroup.
[02:04:58] And remember, the main protest of this day, of this July 1st day, which is the commemoration of Hong Kong's to return to the motherland, to China, that happened back in 1997. So this is the 22nd anniversary, was -- is supposed to be a celebration, but it has always has been a protest day. And the main protest is due to start in about an hour or so from now.
So this is almost -- this is very, very much a sporadic, sort of almost random almost, that the younger protesters have taken matters into their own hands down here while the main protests, and we are speaking protesters (Inaudible) saying she's calling for peace, is still yet to take place...
COREN: Andrew, I'm sorry to interrupt. We just saw images of police using, it looks like pepper spray. It looked like pepper spray. Protesters still standing there, they don't seem to be going anywhere. That standoff is still continuing. But Andrew, you were at those ugly confrontations on the 12th of June when we saw those violent clashes between police and protesters, where they used rubber bullets and teargas.
And obviously, there were those claims of excessive force by police. You know. We know that the police in the last week or so have been very restrained despite the protests that have been going on. But if these protesters do smash through those doors, you will also know that police will take action, will definitely strike back.
STEVENS: Yes. That's right, Anna. I mean they have two. This is the Hong Kong parliament. They cannot let it be overrun. And remember, protesters on June 12th also tried to storm their way into the parliament, which was a trigger. I am not saying it was the only trigger. But it was a trigger for that very strong police reaction on June 12th. Where we were, (Inaudible) on June 12, we saw use of teargas.
We saw heavy use of pepper spray, baton charges, and they cleared the area quite quickly. We didn't rubber bullets, but we saw the result of rubber bullets, and the fact that the police cleared a large majority of the protesters out. So it is not the same numbers of people who are here now than there was back on June 12th, but it is the same sort of catalyst and it's the same triggers that apparently are being pulled at the moment, which will elicit that very, very strong police response.
At the moment, as I say, we just got these flags up warning, and this is the last warning, if you like, that they will take action if the protesters continue to try to storm this building, to try and break into this building. I can't hear any sounds of them trying to smash the glass, which is very clear just a few minutes ago.
So they -- and which comes down to the fact that this isn't (Inaudible) from the topic they like. So there's a reason they have pulled back, which we don't know at this stage. But it is hard to estimate the number of people here. It's definitely in the thousands. And they are mainly young protesters. I have no doubt that when the main protest kicks off in about an hour, it will -- a lot of those younger protesters will end up down here in several hours from now, which will only raise tensions with the police.
And there will be a much, much bigger protest presence down here. I mean it felt like a harder edge this morning, Anna, when we were watching the protesters, they came ready to confront the police. They had their hard hats on. They had masks on. They had their protective clothing on. And the bottles of water for the teargas spray. They had all the basics.
And that was the majority of those students. (Inaudible) they are young protesters (Inaudible). But they were very much prepared for a confrontation. That confrontation is unfolding as we speak. It has not reached a crisis point yet, but it may well. COREN: Yes, it certainly has the potential. Andrew Stevens, please
stand by for us there outside the Legislative Building. We've been looking at live pictures coming from LegCo, where there are hundreds, as Andrew said, thousands of people stationed outside LegCo. There has been a man standing there with his arms in the air, almost like surrendering.
[02:09:44] And no doubt, there is debate going on between the protesters as we speak. Not everybody wants to use force. Not everybody wants to attack the police. There are many people who just want to carry out peaceful protests against the government, against police brutality, against that very controversial Extradition Bill that has been shelved by the city's Chief Executive, Carrie Lam.
But that has done little to subdue these protesters. Let's now go to our Matt Rivers. He is outside Victoria Park where people are assembling for today's march, the 1st of July march, which historically is a day when people gather. Matt, what are you seeing?
MATT RIVERS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yeah, Anna. This is kind of the beginning of this march. What we are seeing here behind me is thousands of people based on what we have hearing for about 45 minutes or so. And they're making their way from (Inaudible) behind us and they're headed down here. So they're going down this street, Anna. And then at the end of that road over there, that's Victoria Park. And that's kind of the gathering point, the beginning point for this march that is expected to take place.
So people have been streaming into that park which is supposed to begin somewhere around 3:00 p.m. And the scene here is very, very calm. I think probably the exact opposite from what we are seeing at the Legislative Council Building at the moment. These are people just peacefully starting to assemble, very similar to the scenes that we saw two weeks ago.
Two weeks ago, I was standing in this exact spot, right around this exact time. And we saw similar things. People generally dressed in black for solidarity purposes, holding signs, things like stand up for Hong Kong, no extradition to China. People there are very unified around that message here. And that's similar to what we're saying today or what we two weeks ago, similar to what we're seeing today.
The big question, though, Anna, is how many people are going to show up? Of course, it was two weeks ago Sunday that we saw two million people march. And so will we get those kinds of numbers today? Of course, it is a public holiday here in Hong Kong. There are a lot of people out on the streets. But two weeks ago, this street was completely shoulder to shoulder.
You could not be standing where I was two weeks ago. So it will be interesting to see, Anna, how this develops throughout the day, and we're going to be here following this march to see it regresses through the streets of Hong Kong, ultimately culminating the march where you are in Tamar Park.
COREN: Yeah, Matt. We are still looking at those live pictures outside the Legislative Council Building, where there are thousands of people gathered. There is that standoff between protesters and police. We are watching a man waving his hand, obviously, at riot police on the other side. It seems calm at the moment. But a short time ago, we saw them with that steel trolley, if you like, ramming into those glass doors.
There are riot police. They are armed. They have warned protesters that they will react if they storm that building. They're watching this very, very closely. Well, joining me now to discuss this further is James To. He is a pro Democrat legislator. James, looking at these images, does this disturb you?
JAMES TO, HONG KONG SENIOR DEMOCRATIC PARTY LAWMAKER: Yes, very much. But unfortunately, our Chief Executive, Carrie Lam, was still very arrogant two days ago. Of course, today, she (Inaudible) a more accommodating attitude, and trying to calm down the situation, but some protesters just don't believe in her.
COREN: Many protesters want this just to be peaceful, want these marches, these demonstrations against the government, against police to be peaceful. But not all protesters share the same mindset. Some believe they need to use force for the government to listen. And probably for the international community to take note of what is happening here in Hong Kong. Do you condone the use of force by protesters?
TO: Well, about 10 pro-democracy legislators are actually standing in front of the door, trying to prevent the protesters to storm the LegCo. They tried their very best, but at certain moments they are out of the way. We will try our very best to be (Inaudible) and to insist on a very peaceful protest.
COREN: Yeah. James, what is at stake here? You know, obviously, we are watching these students who are taking action against the government, against this very controversial Extradition Bill that has been shelved. But it's more than the bill. It's more than this Extradition Bill. Tell us what is at stake.
TO: Well, the protesters basically demand five actions. The first is to totally to withdraw the bill, and secondly to have an independent inquiry headed by a judge to investigate into the brutal acts of the police on the 12th of June. And also ask Carrie Lam to step down. Of course, maybe it's only Beijing who can decide Carrie Lam's fate.
[02:15:08] But at least if the chief executive wish to calm down the situation, she certainly can redefine the nature of the protests several days ago and to order any independent inquiry.
COREN: We heard from Carrie Lam, the city's Chief Executive early this morning at a flag-raising ceremony not far from where we are, obviously to celebrate the 22nd anniversary of Hong Kong's handover from Britain to China. She said in her remarks that she needs to listen more. She needs to be more receptive to the community, remembering that a quarter of Hong Kong's population took to the streets a few Sundays ago to march against her and her bill. What did you make of her remarks? TO: Well, of course, she's trying to have a more lenient or
accommodating attitude towards the people. But basically, looking back at her history, people just don't believe in her. And her credibility and legitimacy has dropped to almost zero. And it's even very difficult, if not possible at all, that she can continue to reconcile with the people.
COREN: Well, James, she has three years left of her five year term. Do you she will last or do you think that she needs to step down for the good of Hong Kong?
TO: Well, for me, she has to step down. But, of course, Beijing may have another thought. But I still believe that Beijing will carefully assess whether she continues her job will be beneficial to Hong Kong and Beijing overall, and whether she can continue any so-called livelihood program in that situation.
COREN: OK. James To, we thank you for joining us here today on what is meant to be the anniversary of the handover of Hong Kong from Britain to China. Instead, we are seeing these displays of protests. These protesters taking force against the government, against Carrie Lam, against this Extradition Bill. And now, we have this standoff outside the Legislative Council Building.
Well, now let's have a listen to one of the pro-Beijing voices here in Hong Kong. It is Alan Hoo who spoke to CNN a little bit earlier about the demonstrations that we witnessed yesterday, in which thousands of people came out in support of Carrie Lam's government as well as the police.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ALAN HOO, LIBERAL PARTY VICE CHAIRMAN: We had a demonstration yesterday with 160,000 people on the opposite side supporting the police and calling for law and order. I think immediately what we need to do is settle down. And the first thing you need to do to settle down is to have law and order first. I think that the police should have a clear rulebook as to what and how they should deal with these demonstrations and attacks on social order.
They need to have a rulebook. They can't just suddenly come out in huge numbers and that, as you say, evaporate the minute your official function is over. Law and order has to be maintained. And Carrie Lam has to govern from day to day.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COREN: That was Alan Hoo, a pro -- I beg your pardon, Beijing lawmaker here in Hong Kong. Now, we are still looking at those live pictures of that standoff between protesters and riot police who are positioned inside Hong Kong's Legislative Council Building. We're going to be monitoring the situation very closely, Rosemary. And we will bring you any developments.
CHURCH: Anna, absolutely. We will come back to you as soon as anything occurs there as we watch that standoff. We appreciate your reporting there in Hong Kong. Let's take a very short break. But when we come back, President Trump just had a historic photo-op. Now comes the hard part, of course. We look at what the U.S. and North Korea hope to achieve with fresh nuclear talks. We are back in a moment.
[02:20:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
HOWELL: Live pictures in Hong Kong this hour. You see protesters gather there, anti-government protesters there trying to storm the Legislative Council Building. We saw that just moments ago. In fact, let's take a look at that video, because in that particular scene, you see this steel frame trolley, people using that to try to break through the glass there at the Legislative Council Building.
Police have warned that if that happens, they will come out and use force to stop the protesters. What you are seeing there are a mix of protesters, some who are looking for conflict, others who are wanting peaceful demonstrations. These live images right now, right now 2:23 p.m. in Hong Kong and hundreds certainly, possibly thousands of people on the streets there protesting the government against the controversial Extradition Bill that was shelved but not scrapped.
Of course, we'll continue to monitor these pictures and bring you any happenings as we see it here on CNN.
CHURCH: We certainly shall. But for now, we do want to move to another big story we're following. North Korean calling Sundays talks with U.S. President Donald Trump amazing and dramatic. Its state media have released these photos, showing history being made, the U.S. President with North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un in the Demilitarized Zone. Mr. Trump stepped into the north, becoming the first sitting U.S. president to ever do so.
HOWELL: And both leaders, they pledged to revive the stalled nuclear talks. But here's the thing. That's not clear exactly what that will look like, not a lot of detail offered there. North Korea restarted missile tests after February's Trump-Kim summit in Vietnam. It still has all of its nukes, and the United States has not lifted sanctions.
[02:24:58] CHURCH: So let's get more now from CNN's Paula Hancocks. She joins us live from the Korean DMZ, Paula, good to see you. Of course, the meeting between President Trump and North Korea's Kim Jong-Un took most people by surprise followed by the nearly one hour meeting. So how will this get them closer to denuclearization of the north? Where do they from here?
PAULA HANCOCKS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That's the question, Rosemary. I mean the key is what comes next. We have this highly unorthodox diplomacy, which does give a wonderful, historic photo, and images that are playing obviously quite heavily in South Korea and have just been playing on North Korean television as well. They've been heralded by both leaders as a historic step and historic meeting. But it is what comes next.
We did hear from the U.S. president that Kim Jong-Un had agreed to him in that behind closed doors meeting for almost -- for more than an hour that there was going to be a negotiating team put in place. There is already a negotiating team in the United States, and they're going to do the same for North Korean side, and then they will go towards some kind of talks within the two to three few weeks, according to Mr. Trump.
We don't have clarification of that from many other sides, though. But the question after the Singapore summit, after the Hanoi summit, there was agreement at the first, no agreement at the second. But the working level talks were unable to push things forward. This is very much a talk down process. It's the leaders and their friendship and their relationship, which they often tout, that is pushing this protest forward.
But, of course, without any working level talks and the nitty-gritty, it's very difficult to see where it's going to go.
CHURCH: Yeah, indeed. Our Paula Hancocks bringing us the very latest from the Demilitarized Zone, some incredible photos, but a lot critics are saying we want substance. We'll see what happens next. Many thanks.
HOWELL: All right. Also, some images we are watching right now taking place in Hong Kong. You see riot police who are standing out certainly in force. Those riot police there to defend buildings, to defend the streets, thousands of demonstrators are there in Hong Kong this hour. Many of them we saw earlier trying to storm the Legislative Council Building, massive marches against the controversial Extradition Bill that has been shelved but not scrapped.
And that certainly has many of those protesters upset. We will continue to monitor events there, 2:27 p.m. in Hong Kong, 2:27 a.m. in the U.S. Stand by. We'll have more after the break.
[02:30:49] CHURCH: And we are covering the breaking news from Hong Kong. Looking at live pictures here. Anti-government protesters trying to stop the legislative council building there. Just moments ago, they have been in a standoff since then with riot police who are warning them to stay outside of the building. All this comes as Hong Kong marks 22 years since Britain handed the city back to China.
HOWELL: Let's bring and Anna Coren, who is following all of the events there. Anna, so we're looking at these images right now and you see people again trying to batter through that window, trying to break into the Legislative Council Building.
COREN: Yes. That's right, George. These developments have occurred over the last 40 minutes or so but just a short time ago we saw dozens of riot police assemble just 100 meters really from where we are. They are carrying shields, they're wearing helmets, batons. And we understand that they are going to make their way to the Tamar Park to outside the Legislative Council Building where we are seeing those thousands of protestors who are trying to push through those glass doors into the legislative building. And we now understand that there is a trolley, they've got a trolley and they are hitting those glass doors as they have been for the past half an hour. We are looking at those live pictures of those protesters. They have their hard hats, their gas masks, they are ready for what the police are about to enact on them because we have been told even the police have put up signs saying that if you continue to put up the red flag, if you continue we will return with force.
Let's bring in our Andrew Stevens who is monitoring the situation for us. Andrew, we are looking at these live pictures and it is quite incredible. These protestors are ramming the steel trolley through -- trying to run it through those glass doors of the Legislative Council Building. What are you seeing? What are you hearing?
STEVENS: They look like they're reinforced plain glass because they're certainly giving away easily, Anna. This (INAUDIBLE) we say it's a -- it's a large metal cage which has been smashed against these double glass doors, and sporadically. The protestors smash it against four five times and stops, and it's -- just so we're hearing it occasionally, you can -- you might be able to pick up bangs behind me now.
That is the -- that's the cage hitting the door. But I'll just move out away just so I can see. So, that is where it happen (INAUDIBLE) members entrance to, there's a -- there's a lot of media in there as well. But there is a core of protestors that are intent on smashing those doors open. But when they smashed those doors, they are going to be confronted by riot police. And we've been watching the police here, they're been holding up red flags which says this is an illegal gathering, disperse or we will use force.
And they are -- they're ready to go inside, they cannot stand by and let the Hong Kong Parliament be overrun. But at this stage, there hasn't been any attempt to clear them from the outside. There are -- beyond the camera shots up in that direction towards the main part of town there are heavily armed in terms of riot police with shields, with gas masks, they are standing by.
They're not trying to push anything at the moment. But obviously this is an incredibly tense situation. And while these protesters are still trying to get into that (INAUDIBLE) building. It really can only end in one way which will be the police retaliating. And I suspect, retaliating hard, Ana.
COREN: Yes. Andrew, we are looking at these live pictures of these protestors ramming that metal cage over and over and over again into those glass doors.
[02:35:07] And you can see, as you say, it's reinforced but they seem to be making, you know, seem to be making progress. They seem to be smashing through. And, we know, there are dozens of riot police on the other side, inside the Legislative Council Building, waiting for them to push through. And, when they do, they do react. Where we are standing, Andrew, there are dozens of police in place who are also ready. They -- we heard a rally cry of you like, these police that are sheltered, you know, ready to go. They are ready to go as soon as they get the call from their commander to go and join the other riot police at the Legislative Council Building. So, you would have to assume that very soon the police are going to react.
STEVENS: It's important to notice, also, something you pointed out, Anna, is how the protestors are heated out today. Most of these protestors and they are mostly young, have the hard hats, they have the goggles, they have some form of gas mask, be a rudimentary or more sophisticated, but they have come here and fully expecting all in anticipation that there may be a confrontation at some states during this day.
There has already been a confrontation, it happened early this morning, 7:30 in the morning, a half an hour before the official ceremony to commemorate the handing over or the handing back of Hong Kong to China. That happened in 1997, so this is the 22nd year of commemoration and the authorities here were worry that protesters would try and disrupt that. They push protestors far away from that ceremony and they swept the streets -- part of the streets clean.
COREN: OK. We seem to have lost Andrew Stevens who is reporting from outside the Legislative Council Building where we can see those protestors who are continually ramming that metal cage or metal trolley into those glass doors outside Hong Kong's Legislative Council Building. There are dozens of riot police on the other side, they have already put up flags. We understand they put up a red flag saying that if you continue, we will use force.
There are also reports that these police are armed with rubber bullet guns and beanbag guns. Those guns were used on the 12th of June where they saw those ugly clashes between police and protests. There was a great deal -- a great deal of international condemnation about the police use of excessive force on that particular day and it was -- you know, obviously the protestors, they have been demanding a -- an apology and also an independent investigation, which the government says they will -- they will carry out.
The protestors say they want an independent inquiry into the excessive force and the brutality used by police. Police, as you see, they are currently restraining themselves. They have warned protestors, those thousands of protestors who are down there, they are armed. I saw them just a short time ago, they are armed with hard hats and goggles and tear gas masks. They are ready for whatever the police are about to enact on them.
Unfortunately, you know, e thought today could turn ugly and that is exactly what we are seeing. And I should also note, George and Rosemary, that there is a great deal of debate as to how these protests, these demonstrations should proceed. Because there are so many people who want these protests to be peaceful. They want this to be a peaceful demonstration against the government, against that very controversial extradition bill.
They don't want there to be violent. They don't want these protestors to get arrested, to end up being thrown in jail. But, if this continues, George and Rosemary, we know the police are going to respond with force.
CHURCH: And, Anna, we continue to watch this as they keep slamming the Legislative Council Building with that metal frame trolley. And of course in about 20 minutes or so, that march will begin at Tamar Park. It will be interesting to see how many of these people filter away. But in the meantime, we watch this play out as they keep ramming at that glass, that reinforced glass door there in the Parliament Building. But we will continue to follow this story, this breaking news out of Hong Kong.
[02:40:02] We will take a short break and back in just a moment.
HOWELL: -- back to viewers in the U.S. and around the world. We're watching these live images right now in Hong Kong. It's 2:43 p.m. It's early afternoon. And you see hundreds, if not thousands right there in front of the Legislative Council Building. It's a mix of protesters, some who are wanting conflict with police officers on the other side of that glass. A glass is being battered right now by this steel-framed trolley these protesters are using.
Police have warned that if they break that glass, they will, the police will use force to clear the protestors. That has not stopped the protesters, they continue to hit the glass. Our Anna Coren is live following all of this. And Anna, what are you seeing right now because at this point it seems like these protesters, they are determined to break that glass.
COREN: Yes. They've been going at it now for maybe 40 minutes, maybe 50 minutes. They have not stopped. They have that steel cage trolley and they are continuing to just run it into those glass doors. It seems to be reinforced. They are struggling to breakthrough, but we've seen that there are dozens of riot police on the other side of those glass doors that held up a red flag saying, stop charging or we will use force.
And we know the police will use force. They used it on the 12th of June, we saw those ugly clashes between police and protestors. The police firing tear gas and rubber bullets at beanbag bullets at protestors. There were more than 80 injuries. It was an ugly, ugly scene. Something that does not happen here in Hong Kong.
[02:45:02] And yet, here on the 1st of July, the anniversary of the 22nd anniversary of the Hong Kong handover from Britain to China. And here we are seeing these ugly scenes again. Police are yet to fire on protesters. But these protesters, they seem determined to smash through those doors.
And George, in the last half hour we have seen -- actually, I'm now seeing just over my shoulder, there are dozens, dozens, dozens of riot police who are assembling outside the chief executive's office.
This police are getting into position. They are getting to position, they are carrying their shields, they have their helmets, they're wearing gloves, this police who are turning out -- they're turning out in a dozen.
I don't know if Javed, my cameraman can try and pan down that this has just happened in the last few minutes whilst I've been speaking to you, George. There are dozens of police getting into position.
Now, we didn't see this. I should add. We did not see this when 2 million people came out and marched on two Sundays ago. There was barely any police, and certainly not police wearing helmets, shield, and carrying batons. But that is what we are seeing there. Probably about 100, if not, several hundred riot police who are here assembled on this side of the Legislative Council building. No doubt they are waiting to get word as to when they will then descend on where these thousands of other protesters are gathered trying to slam that trolley through the glass.
We've heard some from -- some protesters just in the -- in the last few minutes as well, they're kind of coming here to assess the scene, and then, racing back to let their fellow protesters know what is going on this side of Tamar Park.
This is a huge park. This is several acres, I should note, on the waterfront here in Hong Kong. These riot police assembled on one side. There's even more now. There are even more. There are hundreds of riot police who are assembled outside the chief executive's office on this side of the Legislative Council building.
Where Andrew Stevens is, is where these protesters are trying to ram this steel cage through the glass doors of the Legislative Council building. Let's go to Andrew and find out what's happening there. Andrew.
[02:47:40] STEVENS: Anna, they're actually trying to break in, in several areas. It is not just one area. We've been focusing on the main member's entrance which you may be able to see through those hard hat -- hard hats there.
But all along to the right of that entrance, there are now glasses which have been cracked but have not been penetrated at this stage. And it's moving -- it's moving further down. So, they're trying to find either a weak spot or to actually break a several panes of this what it must obviously be reinforced glass. So, so they can enter the Legislative Council building.
As you point out, there are -- there is riot police inside that building. They have been holding up a red flag, saying this is an illegal gathering. We will take action if you continue to do what you are doing.
It hasn't stopped the protesters whatsoever. But the police at this stage have not moved. They're -- perhaps, they're waiting for an actual breach of these -- of these windows not quite sure at the moment.
But the students -- it's roughly the same numbers, the bulk of the protesters here are young. I mean, you know, nine out of 10 if not more are young here. Many we speak to, are students. They've been down here for hours now protesting. There has already been police actions this morning. The police swept in. They swept a part of the road not far from where I'm standing now.
They use pepper spray, they used batons. There was several we could see protesters actually injured in that confrontation. And there were also police injured as well. Police are saying -- they put out a statement, saying that 13 of their members were taken to hospital after being sprayed with an unidentified fluid.
They are not now all out of hospital, but the police is on investigating exactly what was sprayed on them. So, there has been a confrontation, there has been a skirmish so far this morning. The police soon after that basically disappeared. They pulled right back out of sight, which allowed the protesters to regroup where we are standing the moment.
Our last rush to the camera and perhaps just to give you an idea of how many people are here. So, this is -- this is now looking roughly in the direction where you are standing, Anna. We're on the -- we're on the eastern side of the Hong Kong parliament.
And it's a -- it's a -- it's a big group of people now, and it stretches right up as far as you can see up to one is called Harcourt Road that has been a favorite place for the protesters to gather. And they -- that was the scene of some of the most violent confrontations on June the 12th when police were actually clearing out that area.
So, here we are at the moment, it is a standoff. We're hearing all around us a lot of protesters shouting to -- encouraging the protesters to keep going. So, at this stage, a very, very tense standoff, Anna.
[02:50:36] COREN: OK, yes. And Andrew, obviously, where we are standing there, a hundreds of riot police who we've just heard through our Cantonese speaker have said they are ready to move.
George and Rosemary, we are monitoring the situation very closely for you.
HOWELL: All right. We'll, of course, stay in touch with you, Anna. We're watching these images and, of course, a standoff continues. You have protestors determined to get into the Legislative Council building. Police on the other side warning if that happens, they are prepared, they are in riot gear, and they will respond.
CHURCH: All right. We'll take a short break. We'll be back in just a moment.
[02:55:03] CHURCH: You're back with us as we cover this "BREAKING NEWS" at Hong Kong's Legislative Council building. On one side, you have protesters trying to break through the reinforced glass door. There is a little hole there, you can say that they have achieved by blasting it with this trolley.
This -- and on the other side, you can see this riot police. They are getting ready and they've said that they will use force if those protesters do actually get through that reinforced glass. More riot police on the other side of those protesters as well. And they are preparing to move if indeed those protesters achieve their goal of breaking through that glass.
HOWELL: And Rosemary, we did see at some point, where police used pepper spray, shooting through holes in that window. So, you know, certainly, the protesters there, there it is, you see it happening right there. These are again, live images, this all playing out in Hong Kong. These protesters determined to break through this glass.
This was moments ago. So, you get a sense of what was happening. And now, these live images show you that the crush toward that building, protesters determined to break into that glass and the police on the other side who say that they will respond if it happens.
Stand by, we'll, of course, have more coverage on what's happening in Hong Kong after the break. And we'll invite our U.S. viewers as well.