The Pictures Coming Out Of The Hong Kong Protests Are Getting Pretty Wild

Police fired rubber bullets and used tear gas against protesters during the largest demonstrations in Hong Kong since 1997.

Demonstrators in Hong Kong protesting a proposed bill that would allow people to be extradited to mainland China have been faced with police using rubber bullets and tear gas.

There were thousands of people outside the government headquarters in semiautonomous Hong Kong on Wednesday, as protesters managed to delay a debate over the bill. But the bill, which would allow criminal suspects in Hong Kong to be sent for trial on the mainland, is still expected to become law later this month.

The proposed law has provoked the largest protests in Hong Kong since 1997, when it was returned to Chinese sovereignty by the United Kingdom, with hundreds of thousands of people taking to the streets.

While the protests have been largely peaceful up until this point, on Wednesday police also used water cannons, pepper spray, and batons as some people threw things they could find on hand, like traffic cones, at riot police.

Although a part of China, Hong Kong has its own judges, lawmakers, and currency, while residents have their freedom of speech and assembly protected.

Despite assurances, protesters fear that the extradition law will be used by China to target political opponents in Hong Kong.