The Chief Executive, Carrie Lam, along with several top officials were stuck inside Queen Elizabeth Stadium in Wan Chai for around four hours on Thursday evening after protesters blocked the entrances of the venue where they held the first of a series of planned direct dialogues with members of the public.

A vocal crowd – many wearing black shirts and facemasks – had congregated outside the venue for the duration of Lam’s 2.5-hour dialogue session.

After the talks ended at around 9.30pm, hundreds of people blocked the stadium’s entrances on both Oi Kwan Road and Queen’s Road East, where they forced traffic onto a single lane.

They ripped up paving stones and railings, scattering them on the road, slowing down but not stopping traffic.

At one point riot police arrived in several vans and raised a blue flag – indicating people were taking part in an illegal assembly. But protesters didn’t back off, and police retreated soon after.

As the hours ticked away, protesters lost their patience and left in droves.

Still, a handful of protesters remained until the early hours of Friday morning, gathered outside a car park where several government vehicles were parked.

However, at around 1.30am, scores of police suddenly piled out from an exit on the other side of the building. Several cars then arrived; and Lam and the other officials finally emerged, with barely a single protester in sight, got on the cars, and left.