Anti-government protesters pile up projectiles to block police from entering New Town Plaza at Sha Tin in Hong Kong on Sunday. Photo: REUTERS/Tyrone Siu
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Hong Kong riot police curb airport protest after clashes

22 Comments
By Poppy McPherson and Jessie Pang

Hong Kong riot police took up position at the main rail station serving the airport on Sunday to prevent a new anti-government protest targeting air travel after a night of violent street clashes in the Chinese-ruled territory.

Pro-democracy protesters have targeted the airport before, occupying the arrivals hall, blocking approach roads and setting street fires in the nearby town of Tung Chung, and trashing its subway station.

The Airport Express, which takes passengers under the harbor and across a series of bridges to the airport, built on reclaimed land around an outlying island, was only allowing passengers to board in downtown Hong Kong, not on the Kowloon peninsula, the Airport Authority said.

And only people holding flight tickets were allowed to enter the terminal. Bus services were also affected.

One traveler, a 73-year-old retiree from Canada, said he had no problem with the protests if they were “legal and peaceful”.

“They are just trying to voice their demands. As a civilised resident I think these demands are legitimate," the man, who asked to be identified only as Chow, told Reuters.

Australian traveler Jody Paul, 55, who spent a week on holiday in the former British colony, said the protests hadn’t affected her trip.

“It was lovely - we didn’t see any of the protesters or any of the action. I was hoping for a glimpse.”

Hundreds of protesters, young and old, gathered in a shopping mall in the New Territories town of Sha Tin, chanting:"Hong Kong people, add oil", loosely translated as "keep your strength up".

"Fight for freedom," they shouted. "Liberate Hong Kong."

They also sang the new Hong Kong "anthem", Glory to Hong Kong.

Families were making origami paper birds with slogans and pinning them on frames. One girl was sitting on the floor doing her arithmetic homework.

One common slogan written on the birds and common throughout the protests is "five demands, not one less". The protests picked up in June over legislation, now withdrawn, that would have allowed suspects to be sent to mainland China for trial.

The four other demands are retraction of the word "riot" to describe rallies, release of all detained demonstrators, an independent inquiry into perceived police brutality and the right for Hong Kong people to choose their own leaders.

The violence has hit pockets of Hong Kong at different times over more than three months, allowing life to go on as normal for most of the time.

But pictures of petrol bombs and street clashes broadcast worldwide present a huge embarrassment for Beijing just days ahead of the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic on Oct. 1.

The Hong Kong government has already called off a big fireworks display to mark the day in case of further clashes. China, which has a People's Liberation Army garrison in Hong Kong, has said it has faith in Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam to solve the crisis.

Police fired tear gas to disperse protesters who threw petrol bombs in two new towns on Saturday after pro-China groups pulled down some of the "Lennon Walls" of anti-government messages. There were violent clashes elsewhere in the city.

Police condemned the violence and said there had been many serious injuries in fights between people of "different views".

"They threw petrol bombs at police vehicles and police officers, and even attempted to snatch the revolver of a police officer," police said in a statement on Sunday.

The protesters are angry about what they see as creeping Chinese interference in Hong Kong, which returned to China in 1997 under a "one country, two systems" formula intended to guarantee freedoms that are not enjoyed on the mainland.

China says it is committed to the "one country, two systems" arrangement and denies meddling. It has accused foreign governments including the United States and Britain of inciting the unrest.

Secretary for Justice Teresa Cheng wrote on her blog that the rule of law would be upheld.

"Our courts administer justice in full accordance with the law and admissible evidence ... Some may not like the outcome but it does not mean that the independence of the judiciary is in any way compromised," she wrote.

© Thomson Reuters 2019

©2019 GPlusMedia Inc.

22 Comments
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Sit ins is one thing.

Masks, metal clubs and molotovs are another.

It's just hooligans running riot at this point.

-3 ( +7 / -10 )

Good luck to the citizens of Hong Kong. Stay organized and stay safe.

I am still surprised by the restraint by Beijing so far. They know the world is watching and another atrocity would be disastrous for the Party.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Burning Bush: "It's just hooligans running riot at this point."

Being encouraged and financed by NED, an arm of the CIA.

The involvement of the CIA is the same as the CIA involvement in Venezuela. The so-called leaders of these hooligans are being financed by the CIA to travel the globe in an attempt to get international support. In fact, one leader has been groomed by the CIA for almost 5 years, just as the opposition leader in Venezuela. Normal CIA operandi, topple any government that does not submit to US domination.

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

Commentators should read how riot police in France and Egypt are containing their protesters.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

CrazyJoe: "Good luck to the citizens of Hong Kong."

Citizens of HK are, in fact Chinese citizens, just as citizens of Texas are US citizens. HK is part of China as Texas is part of the US (although Texas hasn't always been part of the US). Texans are allowed to protest as are HKers. Texans are not allowed to riot, damaged public infrastructure, damage private property, attack police with petrol bombs, iron bars etc. HKers are not allowed to attack police, damaged public infrastructure, damage private property...

The sooner the West stop their double standard and stop encouraging the HK rioters the sooner they will resolve heir problems. If Texans are not accepting their government or nations they are free to immigrate elsewhere, so are HKers.

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

Citizens of HK are, in fact Chinese citizens, just as citizens of Texas are US citizens.

Terrible example. That's not how it works. Texas has no separate status from the US, any more than its neighbouring states do. But Hong Kong does have a separate status from China and its provinces. There's an international border between Hong Kong and Guangdong, a fact of life that is pretty hard to avoid for anyone who spends time in Hong Kong, and certainly for anyone who has crossed it, either intentionally or otherwise.

"Citizen" is not a very useful word in considering how the people of Hong Kong stand in relation to the People's Republic of China. They are not citizens of the PRC at all (but they are citizens of Hong Kong); and given the complex colonial and refugee history of Hong Kong, many Hong Kong citizens and permanent residents aren't Chinese nationals either. Of those who are, Chinese nationality for people from Hong Kong and Macau actually has a separate status from the Chinese nationality of people in the PRC. If it sounds confusing, that shouldn't be too much of a surprise: there's a strong element of squaring the circle about it all.

Anyone who genuinely believes that Hong Kong and the status of its people is simple is deluding themselves; and anyone who genuinely believes that they are simply citizens of China, or simply Chinese nationals, as you suggest, is also plain wrong.

2 ( +7 / -5 )

Texans are not allowed to riot, damaged public infrastructure, damage private property, attack police with petrol bombs, iron bars etc

But they are allowed to take part in democratic elections.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Is this pro-democracy ?

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

"Fight for freedom," they shouted. "Liberate Hong Kong."

They also sang the new Hong Kong "anthem", Glory to Hong Kong.

What freedom are they fighting for ? Freedom of being Colony ? What Glory ? Glory for being slaves ?

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

What freedom are they fighting for ? Geez I wonder what freedoms they would be fighting for...... What Glory ? Glory for being slaves ?No not to become slaves......

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Akie:

What freedom are they fighting for ? Freedom of being Colony ?

They have not been a colony for 30 years. Obviously they mean freedom from abuse by the regime in Peking. But you know that.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

WilliB, freedom, democracy, human right, are all the same as their masks they wear when they act as terrorists.

-6 ( +2 / -8 )

Freedom of being Colony ? 

A colony of who?

1 ( +3 / -2 )

HKers are not allowed to attack police, damaged public infrastructure, damage private property...

I agree with this.

I don't agree with calling all protestors rioters. 2% are causing damage and need to be held accountable.

The other 98% are normal people, trying to gain freedoms that all humans on Earth deserve, including mainland Chinese, Tibetans, Taiwanese, and the people of the SARs in HK and Macau.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Akie:

all the same as their masks they wear when they act as terrorists.

You are talking about the violent thugs sponsored by Beijing, right?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Akie:

They also sang the new Hong Kong "anthem", Glory to Hong Kong.

Just listened to "Glory to Hong Kong" and it is way better than the CCP national anthem.

Glory to Hong Kong!

2 ( +3 / -1 )

starpunk siad "The CCP wants all of HK incorporated into their Communist structure and that's a treaty violation as well as a human rights one."

The treaty itself is about incorporating HK back to China, that is one country about. Who is violating the treaty is so obvious, as obvious as Tibet being a part of China since the first King of Tibet married to Chinese princess 2000 years ago. As for human right, who is violating others right by burning, trashing, beating, blocking, attacking, knife cutting, and terrorizing is reported by news, propagated the whole world and visualized by all pictures.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

Supporting terrorism is terrorism itself.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

The treaty itself is about incorporating HK back to China, that is one country about. 

The HKers don’t want to be a part of China. Freedom for Hong Kong!

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Citizens of HK are, in fact Chinese citizens, just as citizens of Texas are US citizens. HK is part of China as Texas is part of the US (although Texas hasn't always been part of the US). Texans are allowed to protest as are HKers. Texans are not allowed to riot, damaged public infrastructure, damage private property, attack police with petrol bombs, iron bars etc. HKers are not allowed to attack police, damaged public infrastructure, damage private property...

Lol, but here is the difference, Texans enjoy the same freedom and rights as the rest of the US., they can vote, they have freedom of dissent, if they were to protest Washington would never tell them “cease or else” especially when it comes to the first amendment.

The sooner the West stop their double standard and stop encouraging the HK rioters the sooner they will resolve heir problems. If Texans are not accepting their government or nations they are free to immigrate elsewhere, so are HKers.

For the life of me, I hope the West pushes and encourages HK to fight on as much as they can. The people of HK born and raised have every right to tell the mainland to stick it.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

WilliB, freedom, democracy, human right, are all the same as their masks they wear when they act as terrorists.

So you’re essentially saying protesting to your rights of democracy, dissent and freedom are honored and respected is now all of a sudden a terrorist act? Then I definitely support this kind of terrorism.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Supporting terrorism is terrorism itself.

Surely depends on what your definition of "terrorism" is.

Lest we forget, Nelson Mandela and the ANC were once listed as terrorists. And yet, world opinion was pretty much in their favour.

It's interesting when oppressed people fight back, they garner the label of terrorist. You could, with that logic, label the American Founding Fathers as such.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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