Hong Kong protesters mob airport as clashes turn violent, flights canceled
Tuesday’s clashes with the police led to five arrests and an increase in mob violence which is expected to continue on Wednesday.
More than 100 flights were canceled and 200 delayed after protesters barricaded themselves against airport terminals and gates using luggage carts.
Events escalated when people turned on two protesters suspected of being undercover spies for the ruling government. The protesters that were thought to be working for police were held, beaten and brutalized by the angry group of activists according to reporting by the Associated Press.
Policemen with batons and shields shout at protesters during a demonstration at the Airport in Hong Kong, Tuesday, Aug. 13, 2019. Riot police clashed with pro-democracy protesters at Hong Kong’s airport late Tuesday night, a chaotic end to a second day of demonstrations that caused mass flight cancellations at the Chinese city’s busy transport hub. (AP Photo/Vincent Yu)
The captive suspects were eventually released as riot police suppressed the chaos with the use of batons and pepper spray.
Armed with American flags and while singing the National Anthem, people in the crowd held signs that apologized for their anger while begging for democracy.
“Democracy is a good thing,” read one sign inside the Hong Kong airport which sits inside a communist China. “We stand here to obstruct, only for one single reason. We love and care for Hong Kong. We hope you will understand. Sorry,” read another protester’s sign.
In the midst of an escalating trade war with China, President Trump noted that, “Our intelligence has informed us that the Chinese Government is moving troops to the border with Hong Kong,” in a tweet about the situation. “Everyone should be calm and safe.”
At the heart of the demonstrations is Hong Kong’s proposed legislation which dictates that certain suspected criminals be deported to mainland China where they could face more harsh treatment, including torture and unfair trials. The protestors are pleading with Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam to step back from this perceived erosion of freedoms.
Crowded Hong Kong is home to over 7.4 million people in a 426 square mile area making it one of the most densely places in the world. Sovereignty of the land was given to China in 1997 by the British empire who had control of Hong Kong since 1842.
But Lam is unwilling to budge to the demands of the freedom fighters and refuses to discuss the issues. Instead Lam has said, “After the violence has stopped… I as chief executive will be responsible to rebuild Hong Kong’s economy… to help Hong Kong move on.”
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