Anti-extradition bill protesters fought pitched battles with police in the Admiralty and Wan Chai areas on Tuesday after tens of thousands defied a police order and took part in a peaceful march from Causeway Bay to Central to mark a “Day of Mourning” to coincide with the 70th anniversary of the founding of the nation.

Even as most of the marchers stopped at Central, some black-clad protesters continued up to Sheung Wan towards the liaison office. However, upon noticing the strong police presence, they turned around and marched back.

When they reached the government’s headquarters, many started hurling insults at the police officers stationed inside. Some people started digging up bricks, and some hurled Molotov cocktails.

Even after warnings were issued to disperse, the crowd continued their attack and the police retaliated by wheeling out their water cannon truck, which started firing jets of water mixed with blue dye at protesters.

But as more petrol bombs were thrown into the complex, officers started firing tear gas and rubber bullets. The pitched battle between the two sides continued for about half an hour.

Protesters retreated to Queensway, setting up barricades, and throwing more Molotovs. Police responded by sending their water cannon truck down the street and blasting people away, also using more tear gas.

The protesters then moved to Wan Chai, setting up barricades at the junction of Johnston Road and Hennessy Road with police with their water cannon standing a hundred metres away in a stand-off.