Loading
Hong Kong protests: Flights resume as airport authority restricts protests
BBC
Wed, 14 Aug 2019 07:23

Hong Kong protests: Flights resume as airport authority restricts protests

BBC
Wed, 14 Aug 2019 07:23

Hong Kong protests: Flights resume as airport authority restricts protests




Hong Kong airport has resumed operations after a night of chaos which saw protesters clash with riot police.Hundreds of flights were cancelled on Tuesday after protesters flooded the terminal buildings. Early on Wednesday flights appeared to be running as scheduled, though some still remained delayed or cancelled.After days of disruptions, the Airport Authority said it had obtained a temporary injunction banning protesters from entering certain areas. It said in a statement that people would be "restrained from attending or participating in any demonstration or protest... in the airport other than in the area designated by the Airport Authority".It comes as Hong Kong enters its tenth week of anti-government protests.What happened at the airport?The airport, one of the worlds busiest, has been the site of daily protests since last Friday but they had been mostly peaceful.On Tuesday, protesters blocked travellers from accessing flights, using luggage trolleys to build barriers, and staging a mass sit-down.Some protesters held signs apologising to passengers for the inconvenience caused by their demonstrations.However, things escalated when one man was set upon by protesters reportedly because they thought he was an undercover police officer.Police, wearing riot gear and brandishing truncheons, later arrived at the airport and clashed with protesters. In one video posted to social media, a policeman is seen frantically drawing his gun on protesters after being attacked with his own truncheon for manhandling a woman.

Media playback is unsupported on your device



Protesters had boxed him into a corner after prying the baton from his hands during a violent skirmish. After collapsing to the ground, the policeman was eventually dragged to safety by his fellow officers.At least two other men, also suspected of being police officers, were later confronted by protesters. Their actions come after Hong Kong police had on Monday admitted that disguised officers were being planted among anti-government protesters.The editor of Chinese state media outlet the Global Times later said one of the men attacked was a reporter from the outlet.







At the scene: "Fight for freedom"By Pody Lui, BBC Chinese service, Hong Kong"Fight for freedom, stand with Hong Kong" could be heard clearly in the arrival hall on Tuesday. Protesters were handing out posters to arriving tourists about what had happened in the past two months in Hong Kong, particularly an incident that happened on Sunday in a police dispersal action. A female protester was shot in the eye by police with a bean bag projectile. Occasionally, there were "mini-parliaments", where hundreds of protesters gathered and discussed what was next and how to encounter some possible scenarios in a peaceful manner. Everybody got their say as long as they raised their hand.Tourists undoubtedly were affected as they were not able to get into the security check area. Some cried, some chose to sleep through it. But some protesters offered to help them, including looking for accommodation, offering free food and drinks, and certainly apologising to them.Tensions rose as around 20 police officers entered the building. The police, not the paramedics, claimed to have come to take an injured person to the ambulance. Protesters targeted them with laser pointers, forcing them to retreat back to police cars.



What has the government said?The Hong Kong government has condemned the violence at the airport, saying it would take action against those found responsible. How could China intervene in Hong Kong protests?

In pictures: Chaos as activists occupy terminal

In a statement on Wednesday, it called the "violent acts... outrageous" and said that they had "overstepped the bottom line of a civilised society".It added that the police would take "relentless enforcement action to bring the persons involved to justice". Chinas Hong Kong affairs office condemned on Wednesday what it called "near-terrorist acts" at the airport.Anti-government protests started in June in response to a proposed extradition bill, which has now been suspended, but have evolved into a more demanding pro-democracy movement. They are being fuelled by fears that the freedoms Hong Kong enjoys as a special administrative region of China are being eroded.