Wednesday, 21 August, 2019

Hong Kong protestors cripple airport

A pro-democracy protester is held by police outside Tsim Sha Tsui Police station during a demonstration A pro-democracy protester is held by police outside Tsim Sha Tsui Police station during a demonstration Credit AFP
Deanna Wagner | 13 August, 2019, 03:41

"One must take resolute action toward this violent criminality, showing no leniency or mercy", the statement read.

Analysts said it could make foreign investors think twice about setting up shop in Hong Kong, which has long prided itself as being Asia's leading business city with convenient air links for executives traveling across the region.

"Other than departure flights that have completed the check-in process and the arrival flights already heading to Hong Kong, all other flights have been cancelled for the rest of [Monday]", airport authorities said in a statement.

Hong Kong is part of China but its citizens have more autonomy than those on the mainland.

"If immigration is closed how do we get out of the airport first of all and then how do we get back in, because we're illegal really", she told ABC.

A journalist records evidence items presented by police at police headquarters in Hong Kong, south China, Aug. 12, 2019.

If this happens, many fear a repeat of the 1989 Tiananmen Square incident, where the army cracked down violently on democratic protesters in Beijing.

Businesses, both global and local, in Hong Kong have also faced pressure and accusations of acting in concert or sympathizing with the protesters.

Protesters hurled bricks at officers and ignored warnings to leave before tear gas was deployed in the Sham Shui Po area, police said, calling a march there an "unauthorized assembly".

Sunday night marked a shocking escalation as the anti-government protests entered their tenth consecutive week, when a young woman believed to be a volunteer medic was reportedly blinded in one eye after being hit with a projectile. Officers were also seen chasing people down moving escalators while swinging batons.

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Demonstrators threw up barricades across Hong Kong at the weekend, as police fired tear gas into crowded underground train stations as well as rubber bullets and pepper pellets at close range. Many wore face masks to shield their identities, and a few had helmets.

The protest movement's demands also include the resignation of the Chinese territory's leader and an election for her successor.

Demonstrations started in June in opposition to a proposed extradition bill, which would have allowed suspected criminals to be sent to mainland China for trial. But in recent years, some have accused the Communist Party-ruled central government of steadily chipping away at their freedoms.

The protests have lasted for almost nine weeks, with no signs of slowing down anytime soon.

Hong Kong police have repeatedly promised to look into the reports of police brutality.

"The protesters actually support that", Wong said about U.S. support for the movement, noting that protesters wave American flags alongside British colonial-era and independent Hong Kong flags. We can not believe them anymore.

"We have been completely abandoned by the airport staff", they said.

Chinese officials have also appealed to Hong Kongers directly to condemn the violent protests, in an apparent attempt to split the movement.

Another protester, who identified herself only as Bea, said she took the day off from work to express her outrage because "I feel that I have to do something".