Police begin clearing Hong Kong legislature

HONG KONG (AP) -- Police in Hong Kong have used tear gas to clear a crowd of protesters gathered outside the city's legislature after several hundred broke into the building and spray-painted pro-democracy slogans on the walls of the main chamber.

In a slow and deliberate operation, large numbers of officers began moving in after taking positions outside the legislature around midnight.

Protesters had swarmed into the building about 9 p.m. Monday after breaking windows and prying open metal security curtains.

Some who had gathered outside quickly scattered as police lobbed tear gas canisters and advanced behind tall clear shields.

Inside the legislature building, police wearing helmets entered the main chamber with shields but found only media inside.

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