Hong Kong’s Airport Canceled All Flights On Monday As Protesters Raged

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Hong Kong’s Airport Canceled All Flights On Monday As Protesters Raged

Parul Singh, Contributor

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At Hong Kong airport, more than “200 flights were cancelled”, as thousands of “pro-democracy protesters” shut down one of the busiest airports in Asia. Hundreds of passengers in the airport were left stranded when all departing and arriving flights were canceled in the early evening. CNN states, “Many activists have also come to view the airport as something of a safe protest space away from the streets, where clashes between demonstrators and police have become commonplace”.  But there was a “renewed outrage” of the intensity, after pro-democratic activists and even police, fought “pitched battles” on the streets across several districts of the city. The airport said in a statement, “operations have been seriously disrupted as a result of the public assembly at the airport today”.

You may ask yourself why did the protests begin in the first place? Well, the tension was sparked by a “since-shelved extradition bill”, which would’ve endangered Hong Kong based critics, it it passed. Hong Kong individuals immediately defended the bill, saying “it would protect Hong Kong from criminals fleeing legal systems elsewhere”.  Immediately after this, comes the protest. The protest had five key demands Hong Kong citizens wanted their government to achieve. First, they had to remove the extradition bill. Hong Kong’s extradition bill is basically allowing extraditions(criminals) to mainland in China. This reason explains why there have been a series of protests, including the recent airport protest, in Hong Kong. The second demand is to officially retract descriptions of protests being called “riots”. The third demand was to drop charges against any protester(s), fourth demand is to launch an investigation into police force DURING protest and the fifth and final demand is “universal suffrage”, which would allow Hong Kong voters to directly vote/pick for their leaders rather than the current process that includes Beijing’s involvement.

Later on into the protest, many riot police started to “clash” with the protesters at Hong Kong’s airport late night, moving into the terminal where the demonstrators had shut down operations at “one of the world’s busiest transport hubs” for two straight days. Officers were armed with pepper spray and batons and attacked any protesters in their way. Many police also took several protesters in their van, at the entrance of the airport. Besides police beating protesters, the protesters beat people, who they taught was an undercover agent, but really it was an innocent civilian. The protest lasted for quite awhile. Last Friday, seated on the airport’s floor, protesters began to sing “Do You Hear The People Sing?”, a song from the musical “Les Misérables”. On Saturday, demonstrators went ahead with “planned marches despite a ban”. Police responded to this by “firing tear gas” at some protesters. Violence between the protesters and police had “escalated” Tuesday night during at airport standoff.

Hearing about this protest,On Tuesday, August 13,2019, Trump recently tweeted “Our Intelligence has informed us that the Chinese Government is moving troops to the Border with Hong Kong”. On Monday, Yang Guang, the head of the Chinese Cabinet’s Hong Kong and Macao Affairs office, described the protests as “terrorism for the first time”. Many reporters in the U.S, all described Hong Kong’s current situation as a “very tough situation”. Looking at Hong Kong’s protest, the U.S issued a travel warning for Hong Kong, advising visitors to “avoid areas where protests could break out with little notice”.

Hong Kong’s airport did reopen later on Tuesday but the airport’s administrator warned that “flight movements would still be affected” after China had specifically stated a widespread anti-government protests that halted flights a day early, showed “sprouts of terrorism”, as CNN stated.

Sources:

https://www.cnn.com/asia/live-news/hong-kong-protests-airport-chaos-intl-hnk/index.html

https://www.wsj.com/articles/hong-kong-protesters-overwhelm-airport-for-second-day-11565687274

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