Hundreds of Hong Kong protesters have stormed the legislature on the anniversary of the city's 1997 return to China, destroying pictures and daubing walls with graffiti as anger over an extradition bill spiralled out of control.
Some carried road signs, others corrugated iron sheets and pieces of scaffolding, as about a thousand gathered around the Legislative Council building in the heart of the former British colony's financial district on Monday.
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A small group of mostly students wearing hard hats and masks had used a metal trolley, poles and scaffolding to charge again and again at the compound's reinforced glass doors, which eventually gave.
The council, the mini-parliament, issued a red alert, ordering the protesters to leave immediately.
The Legislative Council Secretariat released a statement cancelling business for Tuesday.
Riot police in helmets and carrying batons earlier fired pepper spray as the stand-off continued into the sweltering heat of the evening.
The protesters, some with cling film wrapped around their arms to protect their skin in the event of tear gas, once again paralysed parts of the Asian financial hub as they occupied roads after blocking them off with metal barriers.
Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam suspended the extradition bill on June 15 after some of the largest and most violent protests in the city in decades, but stopped short of protesters' demands to scrap it.
The Beijing-backed leader is now clinging on to her job at a time of an unprecedented backlash against the government that poses the greatest popular challenge to Chinese leader Xi Jinping since he came to power in 2012.
Opponents of the extradition bill, which would allow people to be sent to mainland China for trial in courts controlled by the Communist Party, fear it is a threat to Hong Kong's much-cherished rule of law and are demanding it be scrapped and Lam step down.
Hong Kong returned to China under a "one country, two systems" formula that allows freedoms not enjoyed in mainland China, including freedom to protest and an independent judiciary.
Beijing denies interfering but, for many Hong Kong residents, the extradition bill is the latest step in a relentless march towards mainland control.
China has been angered by criticism from Western capitals, including Washington and London, about the legislation.
Beijing said on Monday that Britain had no responsibility for Hong Kong any more and was opposed to its "gesticulating" about the territory.
Tens of thousands marched in temperatures of around 33C from Victoria Park in an annual rally.
Organisers said 55,000 turned out.
A tired-looking Lam appeared in public for the first time in nearly two weeks, before the storming of the legislature, flanked by her husband and former Hong Kong leader Tung Chee-hwa.
"The incident that happened in recent months has led to controversies and disputes between the public and the government," she said.
"This has made me fully realise that I, as a politician, have to remind myself all the time of the need to grasp public sentiment accurately."