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Hong Kong Airport Protestors Tangle with Riot Police

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Hong Kong Airport Protestors Tangle with Riot Police

2019-08-13 17:13:07

By Laura Tucker, Staff writer; Image: Scene at Hong Kong International Airport (Image source: Screenshot)

 

For the second day in a row, anti-government protestors continued to seize the Hong Kong International Airport, interrupting nearly all flights in and out of the Asian financial hub. Riot police then entered the scene and clashed with the protestors as they tried to bring order to the airport once again. 

Thousands of protestors occupied parts of the departures and arrivals halls, at times using luggage carts to block air travelers from reaching their gates. The Hong Kong Airport Authority closed check-in services, just as they had on Monday, and advised travelers to leave as quickly as possible.

 

The two days of protests in the airportfollowed days of violence in the streets of the city from the two-moth-old conflict. Carrie Lam, the chief executive of Hong Kong, begged the city for order and refused to meet with the protesters' demands. 

"The stability and well-being of seven million people are in jeopardy," she said on Tuesday morning at a news conference. "Take a minute to think about that. Look at our city, our home. Do we really want to push our home to the abyss where it will be smashed into pieces?"

 

There were stories of police beating protestors and protesters attacking officers with bricks and gasoline bombs during protests in the streets on Sunday. This led to medical professionals holding rallies at hospitals that a cardiologist said were a "direct response to what happened on Sunday." 

Michelle Bachelet, the United Nations' human rights chief claimed there was evidence the police violated international standards by using less-lethal weapons like tear gas.

 

Beijing has begun to warn protesters to either back off or face consequences. 

Donald Trump tweeted on Tuesday that "our intelligence has informed us that the Chinese government is moving troops to the border with Hong Kong."

 

Once the riot police arrived late Tuesday evening via police vans outside the departures halls, some of the black-clad protestors went outside and blocked the vans with blockades and threw plastic bottles at them.  

Protestors surrounded a man they believed to be a police officer from the mainland, knocked him to the ground, and punched and kicked him. He needed to be evacuated in an ambulance.

 

Another man had his hands and feet bound by protestors who searched his belongings and punched him, accusing him of being a "fake" reporter. He, too, was evacuated in an ambulance. 

As midnight grew closer, some flights were allowed to land and the presence of protestors and the police thinned out.

 

These protests grew out of opposition to legislation that would allow extraditions to the mainland of China where the Communist Party controls the courts. This had led to other requests, such as more direct elections, for Lam to resign, and the police to be investigated. 

It's the word "fake" when applied to a reporter that is particularly troublesome. This is something that Trump has been saying over and over, reacting to news he disagrees with or that is calling him out.

 

This is how we see the effects of his behavior. He's not just affecting the United States – his tactics are affecting the world. And now, will the Hong Kong protestors' tactics spill out on others? Will every nation begin to have protestors who feel they are above the law?  

The answers to these questions are worrisome.

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