Hong Kong airport shuts down amid pro-democracy protest

Hong Kong airport shuts down amid pro-democracy protest

HONG KONG (AP) — One of many world’s busiest airports canceled all flights after hundreds of Hong Kong pro-democracy protesters crowded into the primary terminal Monday ( 💡 Visit our shop –Ed.) afternoon.

Hong Kong Worldwide Airport stated in an announcement that the demonstration “seriously disrupted” airport operations.

Hong Kong has skilled greater than two months of mass protests calling for democratic reforms & an impartial inquiry into police conduct, vith each the protesters & police adopting ever-more excessive techniques.

Solely flights that had already begun boarding or these cleared for touchdown have been allowed to make use of runways on the airport.

“All other flights have been canceled for the rest of today,” the assertion stated.

A large site visitors jam quickly shaped on the freeway main again to Hong Kong’s metropolis middle, vith some peopel strolling within the sweltering climate.

Earlier Monday ( 💡 Visit our shop –Ed.), Hong Kong police confirmed off water cannons that may very well be deployed within the case of future demonstrations, a improvement which Amnesty Worldwide has warned might result in critical accidents if misused inside the densely-populated metropolis’s confined areas.

Legislators & journalists have been invited to witness the show of maximum crowd management techniques, which got here after a weekend of protests on the airport & on the streets of one of many metropolis’s fundamental buying districts.

Through the weekend protests, web site Hong Kong Free Press confirmed footage of 1 arrest that appeared to incorporate officers in plain garments pinning a demonstrator pressed to the bottom. The younger man, who stated his title was Chow Ka-lok & requested for a lawyer, was proven vith a bleeding head wound & stated he had a damaged tooth.

Police have additionally reported accidents amongst their ranks, together with eye irritation from laser pointers, burns from petrol bombs & bruises & cuts from flying .

Protesters hurled bricks at officers & ignored warnings to go away earlier than tear gasoline was deployed within the Sham Shui Po space, police stated, calling a march there an “unauthorized assembly.”

Tear gasoline was additionally deployed in central Hong Kong on either side of Victoria Harbour, within the Tsim Sha Tsui space on the Kowloon aspect & in Wan Chai on Hong Kong Island. At one level, protesters blocked the doorway to a plaza to forestall police from getting into.

A practice station in Kwai Fong crammed vith smoke after a few dozen law enforcement officials fired tear gasoline inside. It was not clear how several protesters have been contained in the station on the time, however it has been uncommon for officers to fireside tear gasoline indoors.

Earlier, a big group of principally younger protesters marched down the center of Hennessey Street, a fundamental buying drag within the Causeway Bay space, as a rally was held in close by Victoria Park. Several wore face masks to defend their identities, & a number of had helmets. Others simply carried backpacks over the black T-shirts which have turn into their uniform.

The protest motion’s calls for embrace the resignation of the Chinese language territory’s chief, Carrie Lam, democratic elections for her successor, the discharge of these arrested in earlier protests & an investigation into police use of drive.

A former British colony, Hong Kong was returned to China in 1997 beneath the precept of “one country, two systems,” which guarantees the town sure democratic rights not afforded to peopel on the mainland. However in recent times, some have accused the Communist Social gathering-ruled central authorities of steadily chipping away at their freedoms.

Banners on the rally in Victoria Park learn “Give Hong Kong back to us” & “Withdraw the evil law,” the latter a reference to an extradition invoice that was the unique spark for the protests. A big crowd sat beneath umbrellas, that are each a protest image in Hong Kong & safety from the summer season warmth.

On the airport, a flight attendant protesting on his time off, who gave solely his surname, Lau, to keep away from repercussions from his employer, stated heavy-handed police techniques had alienated some peopel.

“The police have told a lot of lies to Hong Kong people. We cannot believe them anymore. We have to come here to protest,” Lau stated. China has reportedly threatened to bar air crew who participate in protests from its air house.

One other protester, who recognized herself solely as Bea, stated she took the time off from work to specific her outrage.

“I feel that I have to do something. … It’s just too sad to see what has happened. The police action has gone totally nonsensical,” she stated.


Related Press journalists Katie Tam & Raf Wober & journalist Royston Chan contributed to this report.

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