Thousands of protesters forced the cancellation of more than 150 flights at Hong Kong International Airport on Monday.
All afternoon flights — including about 150 departures and two dozen arrivals — were canceled, the airport said in a statement, according to The New York Times.
The airport added that the protest “seriously disrupted as a result of the public assembly at the airport today,” and a Hong Kong official called the demonstration “an illegal assembly.”
Extremely impressive turnout at Hong Kong airport demo against police violence – location is only spot police haven’t fired tear gas pic.twitter.com/fyvUFwAULn
— Erin Hale (@erinhale) August 12, 2019
Demonstrators at the airport were expressing outrage over the way police responded to Sunday protests using excessive force and teargas in an enclosed subway station in Kwai Fong and in the shopping district of Tsim Sha Tsui.
Protesters used the phrase “an eye for an eye” after a women was reportedly shot in the eye by police, the South China Morning Post reported.
— Bloomberg TicToc (@tictoc) August 12, 2019
Witnesses reported police disguising themselves as protesters and before bombarding demonstrators with hidden batons and guns loaded with rubber bullets.
One video appears to show police pushing a protester into a pool of blood while he yells, “I’ve already been arrested. Don’t do this, I’m begging you.”
#HongKong police made mass arrests in Causeway Bay on Sunday eve – aided by men who appeared to be undercover officers dressed as protesters. HKFP footage showed one of the men assisting in an arrest of a bloodied activist. Full story: https://t.co/2ZQIrsUKnI pic.twitter.com/wrY2xSaI2I
— Hong Kong Free Press (@HongKongFP) August 11, 2019
“Alert! There are signs of terrorism on the streets of Hong Kong. … No country can accept terrorist acts in its own country,” read a message from China’s state broadcaster, The Washington Post reported.
“Hong Kong’s radical demonstrators have repeatedly attacked police officers with extremely dangerous means. … These have already constituted serious violent crimes and have begun to show signs of terrorism,” Yang Guang, a spokesman for the Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office in Beijing, said about police officers’ use of force, according to NYT.
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Anti-government protests in Hong Kong have been going on for about three months in retaliation of Beijing’s “Fugitive Offenders and Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters Legislation (Amendment) Bill 2019,” which could extradite Hong Kong residents to China in some criminal cases.
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