Chaos at Hong Kong airport as three days of protests begin

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Demonstrators have gathered at Hong Kong’s airport, marking the start of three days of unauthorised rallies in the Chinese territory.

Activists dressed in black sat in the arrival’s hall waving banners to raise awareness among international visitors.

Organisers were expecting thousands to show up and hoped police would respect what they said would be a peaceful protest that was initially billed to last until Sunday.

Ahead of the demonstration, the airport had increased security that led to passengers experiencing delays in reaching departure gates, as airlines warned travellers to arrive early for their flights.

Protests have gripped Hong Kong for weeks, beginning with anger at an extradition bill and morphing into demands for greater freedoms.

The former British colony is part of China but enjoys more autonomy.

Anti-government protesters rally in Hong Kong airport
Protesters rally inside the arrivals hall of Hong Kong International Airport in Hong Kong, China, 09 August 2019. Protesters were gathering at the airport for a three-day sit-in to protest against a now-suspended extradition bill and call for universal suffrage, and to raise awareness among international visitors to Hong Kong of claims of police brutality. EPA-EFE/JEROME FAVRE

It has a free press and judicial independence under the “one country, two systems” approach – freedoms activists fear are being increasingly eroded.

In the meantime, China demanded Thursday that US diplomats based in Hong Kong “stop interfering” in the city’s affairs, after reports that they met with pro-democracy activists, prompting a furious response from Washington.

China’s foreign ministry had expressed “strong dissatisfaction” with US authorities, citing local media reports that a US official from Hong Kong’s US consulate general had met with a local “independence group”.

Via HKFP/ South China Morning Post/ CNBC

 

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