Police armed with pepper spray clash with demonstrators during 2nd day of Hong Kong airport shutdown
All flights at Hong Kong International Airport have been cancelled for a second day, as thousands of pro-democracy protesters continue to hold demonstrations in the airport’s main terminals.
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In a statement, the airport said that terminal operations have been “been seriously disrupted, and all check-in processes have now been suspended.”
The airport advises any passengers still at the airport to leave the terminal buildings “as soon as possible,” and contact their respective airlines for further flight arrangements.
According to the Hong Kong Free Press, “thousands of black-clad demonstrators flooded Hong Kong International Airport in protest of the police use of force the day before, leading to the cancellation of all outbound flights.”
On Monday, tbe Hong Kong Free Press reported that demonstrators conducted a sit-in protest against police use of tear gas and shooting bean-bag guns at civilians during previous demonstrations.
The Hong Kong Police Force defended its actions stating that officers “deployed tear gas and minimum force to disperse the protesters” over the weekend.
Crowds disappeared as the night wore on, “but returned to the arrival halls on Tuesday afternoon after flights resumed.”
Police arrive, pepper-spray protesters
Hong Kong Free Press further reported that following the latest disruptions, police arrived on scene and used pepper spray on the protesters in an attempt to get the situation under control.
According to the report, one of the officers pulled out his gun and pointed it at protestors, before “several demonstrators” were arrested in the resulting scuffle.
The crowd is going wild after a dozen or so police appeared in terminal one at Hong Kong airport pic.twitter.com/uTIjxeYTv2
— Erin Hale (@erinhale) August 13, 2019
“As officers tried to retreat, some protesters used luggage carts to block the path of a police van, the report said. “At least one police vehicle also had its windows smashed.”
The Chinese government says the anti-government protesters retaliating against authorities showed “signs of terrorism” and encouraged the city’s police force to continue its “crackdown on ‘rioters,’” according to the South China Morning Post.
This is the fifth consecutive day of protests at the airport.
Travel advisory remains in effect
Last week, the Government of Canada issued a travel advisory for Hong Kong, warning travellers to “exercise a high degree of caution” due to ongoing large-scale demonstrations.
“Since June 9, 2019, several large-scale political demonstrations have taken place on Hong Kong Island, in Kowloon and in various suburbs in the New Territories,” states the travel advisory.
“Although many protest sites are made public in advance, authorized and unauthorized demonstrations can take place with little or no notice. They can quickly spread to surrounding areas, including those frequented by tourists,” the advisory said. “Expect road closures and disruptions to traffic and transportation in affected areas. During recent protests, bus routes, MTR stations, the Airport Express and the Hong Kong-Macao Ferry Terminal have temporarily suspended operations without warning. Businesses may also close suddenly.”