July 2 (UPI) -- A day after protesters stormed Hong Kong's Legislative Council and vandalized its interior, the island's Chief Executive Carrie Lam said Tuesday she condemned the violence and hoped the public would agree with her.
In a 4 a.m. press conference, Lam said she was "very outraged" by the protesters who broke into the Legislative Council building during a protest march Monday, the 22nd anniversary of the day the former British colony was returned to Beijing rule.
On Monday, protesters chocked the streets near the Legislative Council building demanding the government rescind a controversial law that would allow for some fugitives from mainland justice be sent to Bejing to be tried by courts there.
"So, I hope the community at large will agree with us that these acts we have seen it is right for us to condemn it and hope society will return to normal as soon as possible," she said, adding the government would "pursue the lawbreaking behaviour to the end."
Lam argued that though the government has not agreed to every one of the protesters' demands, it has shelved the bill that kicked off the mass protests in early June, South China Morning Post reported.
"The bill will expire, or the bill will die, in July 2020 when the current Legco term expires," she said, referring to the Legislative Council by its common portmanteau. "That is a very positive response to the demand we have heard."
The protesters demanded -- among a complete withdrawal of the bill, the release of arrested protesters and an investigation into alleged police brutality committed against protesters during an earlier demonstration -- that Lam resign.
However, pro-democracy legislators attributed Monday's violence to Lam for her refusal to properly address the protesters.
"She has not shown any sincerity to respond or to communicate so far," the pro-democratic legislators said in a joint statement with the Civil Human Rights Front, the organization that planned the July 1 march as well as previous protests. "She has rejected to face the society, ignored the demands of the people and pushed youngsters towards desperation."
The legislators said they made a request to discuss the situation with Lam but were turned down.
"We cannot be angrier at her rejection to the request, which proves her 'willingness to listen' to be the ugliest political lie," the legislator said, referencing an apology speech she gave June 18 in response to the controversy the extradition bill had caused.
Meanwhile, a group of 41 pro-Bejing legislators urged the public and its pro-democracy counterparts to reject the violence and condemn the "extremist militants."
"We call on our pro-democracy colleagues to distinguish between black and white, condemn these extremist militants and uphold the rule of law," they said in a joint statement.
In response, The Civil Human Rights Front urged the public to stand with the "egg," not with the "high wall," the Hong Kong Free Press reported.
"We can have different views on these actions, but we urge you all not to blame the [protesters] and not to distance yourselves [from them]," the group said on Facebook.
Protesters rally against extradition bill in Hong Kong
Thousands of people take part in the annual protest
that coincides with the date in 1997 when Britain handed over control of Hong Kong back to China. Opposition to a proposed Hong Kong law allowing extraditions to China has created increased activism. Photo by Stephen Shaver/UPI
Protesters break into the government's parliament building during a demonstration on the 22nd anniversary of the territory's handover to China on July 1. Photo by Stephen Shaver/UPI
A police officer watches protesters amass outside the government's parliament building. Photo by Stephen Shaver/UPI
Hundreds of thousands of demonstrators who are opposed to a proposed Hong Kong law allowing extraditions to China protested in the streets. The violent clashes between demonstrators and police left at least 54 people seeking treatment, hospital officials said. At least two were in serious condition, but most were discharged. Photo by Stephen Shaver/UPI
Protesters gather in the Legislative Council's Chamber and erected a banner inside reading "There's no rioters, there's only tyranny." Photo by Stephen Shaver/UPI
Protesters gather in the Legislative Council's Chamber during the demonstration. Photo by Stephen Shaver/UPI
Police in riot gear watch protesters amass outside the government's parliament building. Photo by Stephen Shaver/UPI
Student activists take down signs and clean up a walkway decorated with signs and flowers, placed in honor for those injured and killed during the protests, in Hong Kong on June 19. Hong Kong's businesses have breathed a sigh of relief as protests against the extradition bill were suspended and activists called off protests. Photo by Stephen Shaver/UPI
Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet apologized this week and halted debates on the extradition bill. Two of her advisers followed suit
on Wednesday. Photo by Stephen Shaver/UPI
The leadership is in a tough position because several of Lam's key allies in her pro-establishment bloc support the bill and Hong Kong's Legislative Council also has a majority of its lawmakers appointed by the Chinese Communist Party. Photo by Stephen Shaver/UPI
Signs from the protests are piled on the curb. Photo by Stephen Shaver/UPI
Student activists take down signs and clean up a walkway. Photo by Stephen Shaver/UPI
A worker cycles past a road decorated from the protests. Photo by Stephen Shaver/UPI
A man writes on a sidewalk message board posted by activists before Sunday's massive march in Hong Kong on Tuesday. Hong Kong's government has reopened after Sunday's historic march protesting the extradition bill and calling for Chief Executive Carrie Lam's resignation resulted in the suspension of the bill. Photo by Stephen Shaver/UPI
A student writes a message on a sidewalk message board. Photo by Stephen Shaver/UPI
The extradition bill would have allowed for fugitives from Beijing's courts residing in Hong Kong to be extradited to China. The bill was put on hold Saturday, but then 2 million people took to the streets Sunday, demanding the bill be permanently scrapped. Photo by Stephen Shaver/UPI
The former British colony has been allowed its own local institutions under a "one country, two systems" arrangement with China. Protesters see the extradition law as a further whittling away of the island's democracy by Beijing. Supporters say it will prevent the island from being a haven for Chinese criminals. Photo by Stephen Shaver/UPI
Protests erupted June 9 and have continued despite Lam announcing Saturday that the bill had been halted. Photo by Stephen Shaver/UPI
People walk past protest messages still hanging on the gate surrounding the government house, which were posted on Sunday. Photo by Stephen Shaver/UPI
Hong Kong's most prominent student activist, Joshua Wong, prepares to talk with protesters hours after he was released
from prison in Hong Kong on Monday. Wong said he is ready to "join the fight" against the suspended extradition bill and called for Beijing-backed Lam to resign. Photo by Stephen Shaver/UPI
Wong, 22, was released Monday after serving a two-month jail sentence in connection with the 2014 protests that rocked the island demanding more civil power from China to choose its own political leaders. Photo by Stephen Shaver/UPI
Two protesters talk with a large group of activists and striking students camped out at a pavilion on the Legislative Government complex in Hong Kong on Monday. Photo by Stephen Shaver/UPI
A protester points in a guard's face. The woman is outside a barrier lined with Hong Kong police guarding the Legislative Government headquarters. Photo by Stephen Shaver/UPI
Activists and students march to the Legislative Government headquarters. Photo by Stephen Shaver/UPI
Protesters march to the Legislative Government headquarters. Photo by Stephen Shaver/UPI
Protesters block a road as they gather outside barriers lined with Hong Kong police guarding the Legislative Government headquarters on Monday. Photo by Stephen Shaver/UPI
About 2 million people protested
in Hong Kong on Sunday, which Organizers of Civil Human Rights Front estimated the turnout was double the 1 million who took to the streets seven days earlier to demonstrate against the bill. Photo by Stephen Shaver/UPI
The city of 7 million is the world's fourth most densely populated region. Photo by Stephen Shaver/UPI
A crowd chanted the Cantonese word for "Retract!" in a message to Lam to permanently scrap the bill. A large number of protesters sang "Do You Hear The People Sing?," a song from musical Les Miserables and the anthem of Hong Kong protests in 2014. Photo by Stephen Shaver/UPI
People wore black
during the protest and many carried white flowers to honor a man who died after falling from a building Saturday while holding banners opposing the extradition bill. Photo by Stephen Shaver/UPI
In 2047, Hong Kong fully becomes part of China because that is when the "one country, two systems" deal ends. Hong Kong was a British colony until 1997 when the United Kingdom worked out a deal to turn Hong Kong to China under the stipulation that Hong Kong residents would continue to enjoy many of the rights that they had as British subjects. Photo by Stephen Shaver/UPI
A massive crowd gathers in a park. Photo by Stephen Shaver/UPI
A police officer negotiates with protesters who have stopped traffic. Photo by Stephen Shaver/UPI
Some protesters block traffic as part of the demonstration. Photo by Stephen Shaver/UPI
Two smaller, peaceful protests preceded the massive demonstration on Sunday. Photo by Stephen Shaver/UPI
A U.S. bill co-sponsored by House and Senate lawmakers Thursday said it reaffirmed
the American commitment to democracy, human rights and rule of law at a time when "these freedoms and Hong Kong's autonomy are being eroded." Photo by Stephen Shaver/UPI
Protesters march in front of the Hong Kong skyline. Photo by Stephen Shaver/UPI
Millions of Hong Kong residents take to the streets. Photo by Stephen Shaver/UPI