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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.

Posted on June 12, 2019, at 11:33 a.m. ET

Kyodo News / Getty Images

Protesters clash with riot police near Hong Kong's Legislative Council building.

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.

Anthony Wallace / AFP / Getty Images

Police officers use a water cannon on a lone protester near the government headquarters in Hong Kong.

Dale De La Rey / AFP / Getty Images

Protesters occupy a road as they attend a rally against the controversial extradition law.

Tyrone Siu / Reuters

Protesters raise their arms during the demonstration.

Isaac Lawrence / AFP / Getty Images

Protesters use umbrellas — a symbol of the pro-democracy movements in Hong Kong — after police fire tear gas.

REUTERS/James Pomfret

Protesters help pro-democracy lawmaker Lam Cheuk-ting after he was pepper-sprayed during the demonstration.

REUTERS/Tyrone Siu

A protester films the demonstration in Hong Kong.

Anthony Wallace / AFP / Getty Images

A protester reacts after being hit with tear gas by police.

Tyrone Siu / Reuters

People watch the demonstration in Hong Kong.

Thomas Peter / Reuters

Police officers fire tear gas.

Athit Perawongmetha / Reuters

Protesters walk amid tear gas.

rEUTERS/James Pomfret

A protester holds an umbrella as Hong Kong police fire tear gas.

Dale De La Rey / AFP / Getty Images

A police officer shouts at protesters during a rally outside the government headquarters in Hong Kong.

Tyrone Siu / Reuters

A masked protester holds an umbrella.

Athit Perawongmetha / Reuters

A protester rests during the demonstration.

Bloomberg / Getty Images

An umbrella sits on a road outside Hong Kong's Legislative Council.

A BuzzFeed News investigation, in partnership with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, based on thousands of documents the government didn't want you to see.