Tens of thousands of Hong Kong residents, mostly clad in black despite the sweltering heat, jammed the city’s streets Sunday in a vehement show of opposition to proposed legislation that has stoked fears of expanding control from Beijing in this former British colony.

The marchers are demanding that Hong Kong’s leader first scrap an extradition bill that would allow some suspects to be sent for trial in mainland China and then resign. The conflict, which slipped into unusually violent clashes with police last week, is one of the toughest tests of the territory’s special status since China took control in a 1997 handover.

The demonstrators carried banners demanding that Chief Executive Carrie Lam step down and repeatedly broke into chants. Walking slowly and shouting “withdraw” and “resign,” the crowd filled a wide thoroughfare and side streets paralleling the waterfront of Victoria Harbor as tourists and shoppers who drive much of the Asian financial hub’s economy looked on.

Protesters march on the streets against an extradition bill in Hong Kong on Sunday, June 16, 2019. Hong Kong residents Sunday continued their massive protest over an unpopular extradition bill that has highlighted the territory's apprehension about relations with mainland China, a week after the crisis brought as many as 1 million into the streets. (AP Photo/Vincent Yu)
Protesters march against an extradition bill in Hong Kong, on June 16, 2019. Hong Kong residents Sunday continued their massive protests over an extradition bill that has highlighted the territory’s apprehension about relations with mainland China, a week after the crisis brought as many as 1 million into the streets. (Vincent Yu/AP Photo)

Lam’s announcement Saturday that she was suspending the legislation failed to mollify critics of the measure who see it as one of many steps chipping away at Hong Kong’s freedoms and legal autonomy. Opponents worry the law could be used to send criminal suspects to China to potentially face vague political charges, possible torture, and unfair trials.

“Our demands are simple. Carrie Lam must leave office, the extradition law must be withdrawn and the police must apologize for using extreme violence against their own people,” bank worker John Chow said as he marched with a group of his friends. “And we will continue.”

Sunday’s march looked likely to match in scale the 1 million that had marched one a week earlier. They were expressing their concern over Hong Kong’s relations with mainland China. Protesters focused their anger on Lam, even while acknowledging that she had little choice but to carry out the dictates issued by Beijing, where Party leader Xi Jinping has enforced increasing authoritarian rule.

A resident uses a mobile phone to film protesters marching through the street to continue protesting against the extradition bill, Sunday, June 16, 2019, in Hong Kong. Hong Kong residents Sunday continued their massive protest over an unpopular extradition bill that has highlighted the territory's apprehension about relations with mainland China, a week after the crisis brought as many as 1 million into the streets. The posters read
A resident uses a mobile phone to film protesters as they continue to march through the streets protesting against the extradition bill, on June 16, 2019, in Hong Kong.  (Kin Cheung/AP Photo)

Many here believe Hong Kong’s legal autonomy has been significantly diminished despite Beijing’s insistence that it is still honoring its promise, dubbed “one country, two systems,” that the territory can retain its own social, legal, and political system for 50 years after the handover.

The rally drew marchers both young and old, some pushing strollers or carrying slumbering infants. A few wore face masks or seemed to be trying to hide their identities, in contrast with demonstrations Wednesday, when participants expressed worries over possible retribution from the authorities.

Protesters are also unhappy with the way police handled that situation, with officers using tear gas, rubber bullets, and other forceful measures when demonstrators broke through barricades outside the city government’s headquarters.

Protesters carrying placards march through the streets against an extradition bill on Sunday, June 16, 2019, in Hong Kong. Tens of thousands of Hong Kong residents, mostly in black, have jammed the city's streets Sunday to protest the government's handling of a proposed extradition bill. (AP Photo/Vincent Yu)
Protesters carrying placards march through the streets against an extradition bill on June 16, 2019, in Hong Kong. Tens of thousands of Hong Kong residents, jammed the city’s streets on Sunday to protest the government’s handling of a proposed extradition bill. (Vincent Yu/AP Photo)

The police presence Sunday was considerably more relaxed, with officers deployed mainly to direct traffic as the protesters wound their way through Hong Kong’s commercial center from a sprawling downtown park to government headquarters.

Farther down the parade route, mourners lined up to lay flowers and pay respects at a makeshift memorial for a man who fell to his death Saturday after hanging a protest banner that read in part, “Make Love, No Shoot” and “No Extradition to China.”

The man slipped from the grasp of rescuers after clinging for a time to scaffolding outside a shopping mall. He missed a large cushion set up to capture him, and was declared dead at a nearby hospital.

Protesters carrying signs reading
Protesters carrying signs reading “Demand accountability for shooting/Withdraw charges!” march through the streets against an extradition bill on June 16, 2019, in Hong Kong. (Vincent Yu/AP)

Many protesters wore ribbons on their shirts and carried placards showing who had been beaten bloody on Wednesday.

“I’m really sad. I’m grieving,” one visitor, Peron Kwong, said after tying a white ribbon to a street rail. “As a person born and raised in Hong Kong, I’m heartbroken when I see Hong Kong become like this.”

Pro-democracy activists were calling for a general strike on Monday despite Lam’s decision to suspend work on the legislation. Some labor unions, teachers associations, and other groups were planning boycotts of work and classes, demanding the Lam administration retire the proposed amendments and not bring them up again for passage at a later date.

Mourners stop by a makeshift memorial, to lay flowers and pray for a man who fell to his death Saturday after hanging a protest banner against an extradition bill in Hong Kong Sunday, June 16, 2019. Tens of thousands of Hong Kong residents, mostly in black, have jammed the city’s streets Sunday to protest the government’s handling of a proposed extradition bill. (AP Photo/Kin Cheung)
Mourners stop by a makeshift memorial, to lay flowers and pray for a man who fell to his death on June15 after hanging a protest banner against an extradition bill in Hong Kong, onJune 16, 2019. (Kin Cheung/AP Photo)

“We encourage all the public to carry on the campaign,” said Bonnie Leung, a leader of the pro-democracy group Civil Human Rights Front. “If any new violence takes place, it will be the responsibility of the police.”

The Communist Party-ruled mainland took control in 1997 with a promise not to interfere with the city’s civil liberties and courts. Many in Hong Kong fear the extradition bill would undermine freedoms enjoyed here but not elsewhere in China.

“China just wants to turn Hong Kong into another Chinese city,” said Alex To, 54, who runs a small business. “Carrie Lam is just a figurehead. Everything depends on the attitudes of the leaders in Beijing.”

Thousands of protesters shouting slogans and carrying signs march through the streets against an extradition bill on Sunday, June 16, 2019, in Hong Kong. Tens of thousands of Hong Kong residents, mostly in black, have jammed the city's streets Sunday to protest the government's handling of a proposed extradition bill. (AP Photo/Vincent Yu)
Thousands of protesters shouting slogans and carrying signs march through the streets against an extradition bill, on June 16, 2019, in Hong Kong. (Vincent Yu/AP Photo)

After Lam announced she was suspending the legislation to avoid more violence and allow additional debate, Chinese government officials issued multiple statements backing that decision. Lam, however, made clear she was not withdrawing it.

She has sidestepped questions over whether she should quit and also defended how the police dealt with last week’s clashes with demonstrators.

Lam maintains that the extradition legislation is needed if Hong Kong is to uphold justice, meet its international obligations, and not become a magnet for fugitives. The proposed bill would expand the scope of criminal suspect transfers to include Taiwan, Macau, and mainland China.

Firefighters remove a yellow banner with the words
Firefighters remove a yellow banner with the words “Fight for Hong Kong” in Chinese and English, from Lion Rock mountain hung by pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong, on June 16, 2019. (Kin Cheung/AP Photo)

So far, China has been excluded from Hong Kong’s extradition agreements because of concerns over its judicial independence and human rights record.

Prosecutions of activists, detentions without trial of five Hong Kong book publishers, and the illegal seizure in Hong Kong by mainland agents of at least one mainland businessman are among moves in recent years that have unnerved many in the city of 7 million.

Many protesters showed deep sympathy for Taiwan, seeing China using the same formula as applied to Hong Kong.

Protesters place a raincoat bearing the words
Protesters place a raincoat bearing the words “Cold blooded black police, Carrie Lam kill Hong Kong” on the site where a man fell to his death a day earlier after hanging a protest banner on the scaffolding of a shopping mall in Hong Kong, on June 16, 2019. (AP Photo/Vincent Yu)

“Today Hong Kong, tomorrow Taiwan,” read one sign.

Tens of thousands of protesters march through the streets with a banner reading
Tens of thousands of protesters march through the streets with a banner reading “Hong Kong stand firm” as they continue to protest an extradition bill, on June 16, 2019, in Hong Kong. (AP Photo/Kin Cheung)
Tens of thousands of protesters carry posters and banners march through the streets as they continue to protest an extradition bill, Sunday, June 16, 2019, in Hong Kong. Hong Kong residents Sunday continued their massive protest over an unpopular extradition bill that has highlighted the territory's apprehension about relations with mainland China, a week after the crisis brought as many as 1 million into the streets. (Apple Daily via AP)
Tens of thousands of protesters carrying posters and banners march through the streets as they continue to protest an extradition bill, on June 16, 2019, in Hong Kong. (Apple Daily via AP)
Tens of thousands of protesters march through the streets with a banner reading
Tens of thousands of protesters march through the streets with a banner reading “Hong Kong say No” as they continue to protest an extradition bill, on June 16, 2019, in Hong Kong. (Kin Cheung/AP Photo)