The city's pro-Beijing leaders are pushing a bill through the legislature that would allow extraditions to any jurisdiction with which it does not already have a treaty - including mainland China for the first time.
Protesters hold pictures of Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam as protesters march along a downtown street against the proposed amendments to an extradition law in Hong Kong Sunday, June 9, 2019.19.
The protest that stretched past midnight into Monday was largely peaceful, though there were a few scuffles with police as demonstrators broke through barriers at government headquarters and briefly pushed their way into the lobby.
The rallies - and the violence - plunge the global financial hub into a fresh political crisis, with marchers and opposition leaders demanding the bill be shelved and that the city's Beijing-backed Chief Executive Carrie Lam resign.
"No matter what, no matter they listen to us or not we have to step out, because it is to show not only the Hong Kong government but the people around the world that we have a voice and we disagree with what they are doing", Lam said.
More than a hundred Hong Kong Canadians marched on the Chinese consulate in Vancouver Sunday to protest a proposed extradition law expected to be introduced to their homeland's legislature later this week.
Hong Kong has been rocked by protests as hundreds of thousands of people demonstrated at the weekend against legal changes that would make it easier to extradite people to China from the semi-autonomous city.
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But critics fear the law would entangle people in China's opaque and politicized court system and say the government is using the Taiwan case as a Trojan Horse.
However, Hongkongers are concerned that this is yet another case of their freedoms under the "one country, two systems" framework being eroded away as Beijing continues to exert a tighter and tighter grip on the former British colony.
The fear, the protesters say, is that those rights won't last for long.
Tara Joseph, president of the local American Chamber of Commerce, said the credibility of Hong Kong was on the line.
Hong Kong now limits such extraditions to jurisdictions with which it has existing extradition agreements or to others on an individual basis under a law passed before 1997. "I have not received any instruction or mandate from Beijing to do this bill", she told reporters on Monday.
"We acknowledge and respect that people have different views on a wide range of issues", a statement said.
The bill at the center of the demonstrations would let criminal suspects be extradited to places where Hong Kong has no formal extradition agreement, such as mainland China.
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Kiwi Wong, 27, was among the throng, a member of the younger generation who've grown up enjoying relative prosperity but also growing insecurity about what many see as an erosion of the rights Hong Kong residents have enjoyed. They will gather on Wednesday before the bill's second reading. It was reported that the man fled Taiwan and returned to Hong Kong past year.
"This is the end game for Hong Kong, it is a matter of life or death".
The proposal comes on the back of a Hong Kong teenager who allegedly murdered his pregnant girlfriend while on holiday in Taiwan. Lawmakers have said the guarantee of a fair trial will not be written into the bill.
This was also reflected in the 2014 "Umbrella" protests - where tens of thousands of people camped in the streets for weeks to demand fully democratic elections.
CALL4VAN, a Hong Kong-based company that offers van-hiring services through a mobile app, made its announcement with a Facebook post on its official page, and urged other companies and their workers to join the shutdown.
Police said the crowd was about 240,000 people, but organizers estimated more than 1 million turned out.
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