PHOTOS: Hong Kong protesters take over legislative chambers

Police try to disperse protesters near a flag-raising ceremony for the anniversary of the Hong Kong handover to China, in Hong Kong on July 1, 2019. (Photo: Thomas Peter/Reuters)

Police have begun advancing on Hong Kong's legislature building to clear protesters who broke into it and vandalized offices and the main chamber.

An AP journalist said he could feel tear gas Monday night as he and other media left the building with protesters.

The crackdown began around midnight.

Police earlier announced they would begin clearing the building and warned they would use appropriate force if they encountered resistance.

Hundreds of protesters broke into the building at about 9 p.m. and spray-painted slogans on the walls of the main chamber.

Meanwhile, hundreds of thousands of others marched through the city to demand expanded democracy on the 22nd anniversary of the former British colony's return to China.

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Protesters use metal rods to smash glass doors and windows of the government headquarters in Hong Kong on July 1, 2019. (Photo: Philip Fong/AFP/Getty Images)
Protesters smash glass doors and windows of the Legislative Council Complex in Hong Kong on July 1, 2019. (Photo: Anthony Kwan/Getty Images)
A protester breaks into the Legislative Council building during the anniversary of Hong Kong's handover to China, July 1, 2019. (Photo: Thomas Peter/Reuters)
Protesters smash glass doors and windows of the Legislative Council Complex in Hong Kong on July 1, 2019. (Photo: Anthony Kwan/Getty Images)
Protesters smash glass doors and windows of the government headquarters in Hong Kong on July 1, 2019. (Photo: Philip Fong/AFP/Getty Images)
Protesters gather at the government headquarters in Hong Kong on July 1, 2019, on the 22nd anniversary of the city's handover from Britain to China. (Photo: Vivek Prakash/AFP/Getty Images)
Protesters storm into the government headquarters in Hong Kong on July 1, 2019. (Photo: Vivek Prakash/AFP/Getty Images)
Protesters break into the Legislative Council building during the anniversary of Hong Kong's handover to China, July 1, 2019. (Photo: Reuters)
Protesters break into the Legislative Council building during the anniversary of Hong Kong's handover to China, July 1, 2019. (Photo: Tyrone Siu/Reuters)
The colonial flag of Hong Kong is displayed inside a chamber after protesters broke into the Legislative Council building during the anniversary of Hong Kong's handover to China, July 1, 2019. (Photo: Tyrone Siu/Reuters)
Protesters inside a chamber after they broke into the Legislative Council building during the anniversary of Hong Kong's handover to China, July 1, 2019. (Photo: Tyrone Siu/Reuters)
A protester waves the British Union Jack flag in the parliament chamber after they broke into the government headquarters in Hong Kong on July 1, 2019. (Photo: Philip Fong/AFP/Getty Images)
Protesters deface the Hong Kong logo at the Legislative Council to protest against the extradition bill, in Hong Kong, July 1, 2019. (Photo: Vincent Yu/AP)
Protesters put up a sign after breaking into the parliament chambers of the government headquarters in Hong Kong on July 1, 2019, on the 22nd anniversary of the city's handover from Britain to China. (Photo: Vivek Prakash/AFP/Getty Images)
Protesters inside the meeting hall of the Legislative Council in Hong Kong, July 1, 2019. (Photo: Kin Cheung/AP)
A portrait of Andrew Leung, chairman of the Legislative Council, is destroyed after protesters broke into the parliament chamber of the government headquarters in Hong Kong on July 1, 2019. (Photo: Philip Fong/AFP/Getty Images)
A police officer fires a baton round outside the Legislative Council building, after protesters stormed the building on the anniversary of Hong Kong's handover to China in Hong Kong, China July 1, 2019. (Photo: Tyrone Siu/Reuters)
Police fire tear gas at protesters near the government headquarters in Hong Kong on July 2, 2019. (Photo: Anthony Wallace/AFP/Getty Images)
Protesters react after tear gas was fired by police outside the Legislative Council building, after demonstrators stormed the building on the anniversary of Hong Kong's handover to China in Hong Kong, China July 1, 2019. (Photo: Tyrone Siu/Reuters)
Police fire tear gas at protesters near the government headquarters in Hong Kong on July 2, 2019. (Photo: Anthony Wallace/AFP/Getty Images)

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