Hong Kong Protesters Swarm Airport Again as Violence Intensifies

Cheryl Sanders
August 13, 2019

The protests were sparked in response to a government proposal that would have allowed the transfer of fugitives to mainland China, but soon spiraled into a larger movement demanding more democracy in the semi-autonomous region of China.

"Take a minute to think, look at our city, our home, do you all really want to see it pushed into an abyss", Lam said, although she again refused to make any concessions to the protesters.

Police said they had not received a formal application for the airport protest and warned against violence or disruptions that could endanger public safety.

We speak with Mary Hui, a reporter for the business news outlet Quartz who has been covering the mass demonstrations for more than two months.

"Protesters have been frequently using extremely unsafe tools to attack the police in recent days, constituting serious crimes with sprouts of terrorism emerging", said Hong Kong and Macau Affairs office spokesman Yang Guang in Beijing.

During a general strike on Monday, more than 100 flights were cancelled because airline and airport employees were participating in the protest.

Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam said on Tuesday the city's recovery from protests that have swept the Asian financial hub could take a long time and that she would be responsible for rebuilding its economy "after the violence eases".

Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam speaks during a news conference on August 5 about protests against her extradition bill, for which she has apologized but not completely withdrawn.

"Radical Hong Kong protesters have repeatedly used extremely unsafe tools to attack police officers", said Yang Guang, a spokesman for the Chinese government's Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office, in remarks translated by Chinese state media. The latest escalation follows a weekend of bloody clashes between the police and protesters. So, what exactly is happening in Hong Kong now and why are people protesting?

Now amid the widely-circulated concerns that China may intervene in Hong Kong with force, the US and Canada have openly expressed their concerns.

Passengers with luggage were being checked in for flights, and only a handful of the thousands of protesters who flooded into the airport a day earlier remained in the building.

"It is possible that the airport authority will cancel more flights as they need to control the air traffic movements at the Hong Kong International Airport", he said.

Many protesters are fleeing in advance of an expected police clearance operation, which some fear could turn violent.

He said the protesters' "violent crimes" must be dealt with "resolutely" and "without mercy".

Anyone planning to travel between Australia and Hong Kong has been urged to check with their airline.

On Friday, China's Civil Aviation Administration said it will ban Cathay Pacific staff from supporting or participating in "illegal demonstrations, protests and violent attacks, as well as those who have had radical behaviours" from working on flights. "I felt like I was walking around and nobody gave us information".

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