@PhilipN - "Seems like everybody believes Western Media nonsense"
Let's see if there are some sources you'll accept as accurate...
"Incidentally every day I drive along the same roads in Hong Kong..."
Sure, same here. For one thing, the protests, especially the biggest ones, have mainly been on weekends. Secondly, they've happened in particular areas: I live and work in Southern District, where protest has been limited to a "Lennon Wall" and a hold-hands event, but a friend who lives in Shum Shui Po has had several nights of tear gas and street fights. What was your point?
"Many protesters have been arrested for breaking the law - not for protesting pure and simple."
Isn't that always the case with arrests? The arresting officer has to believe the suspect broke a law, and the suspect is innocent unless found guilty by the court. How many of the arrests will result in charges, and whether the charges will stand up in court remains to be seen. One trick is that, while Article 27 of the Basic Law includes freedom of association, of assembly, of procession and of demonstration, it is necessary to apply for a "Letter of No Objection" from the Police... and the Police have been (unreasonably?) denying those recently, making the gatherings "illegal assemblies".
"The original cause of the disturbances was unilateral action on the part of the HK legislature."
Wrong, it was the Chief Executive, Carrie Lam, who introduced the controversial extradition bill. Her intransigence started and fuels these disturbances.
"The Hong Kong & Macao Affairs Office held an unprecedented press conference a few weeks ago and stated categorically that this is HK’s problem and HK with its own police force will have to fix it."
Do you mean the press conference on 8th August, reported here https://www.hongkongfp.com/2019/08/08/beijing-deems-hong-kong-protests-colour-revolution-will-not-rule-intervention/? Zhang Xiaoming said that Beijing will support Chief Executive Carrie Lam and the police force and “If the situation in Hong Kong continues to worsen into unrest that the Hong Kong SAR government cannot control, the central government will not sit back and do nothing.” This was a few days after the Global Times (is that a source you are prepared to believe?) posted a video of Mainland riot police practising in Shenzhen. Can you honestly say that that was a coincidence, and not a blatant threat?
"By the way the reference to “the tightening noose of Communist Chinese laws and customs” is unbelievably stupid."
Why? The phrase is a bit flowery, but it is easy to see how the extradition bill could be used to extend the reach of Mainland laws to HK: it doesn't allow extradition for political crimes, but a murder charge could be fabricated to get someone over the border, then they're under Mainland law and can be charged with anything.
However, there is one thing to clarify: the HKISPA is reacting to a report (Chinese link, is Sing Tao Daily an acceptable source?) that Carrie Lam and her government was considering using existing emergency legislation. This is the Emergency Regulations Ordinance, a British Colonial law, last used in the 1967 riots that says, "On any occasion which the Chief Executive in Council may consider to be an occasion of emergency or public danger he may make any regulations whatsoever which he may consider desirable in the public interest." and further clarifies that includes "censorship, and the control and suppression of publications, writings, maps, plans, photographs, communications and means of communication;". This, of course, directly contradicts the Basic Law, Article 27 (mentioned above), Article 30: freedom and privacy of communication and a lot more. If it was invoked, how would you tell the difference between an Imperial Governor imposing his will on a colony by force and the current HK Government?