Hong Kong Grounds Flights as Mass Sit-in Shuts Down Airport After Weekend of Protests

Democracy Now!

Published on Aug 12, 2019

All departing flights were grounded as chaos engulfed the Hong Kong International Airport Monday, after thousands of pro-democracy protesters filled the travel hub to protest police brutality. Many eventually left the airport, fearing threats of more police action, but hundreds of activists remain. The latest escalation follows a weekend of bloody clashes between the police and protesters. Confrontations turned especially violent on Sunday night as riot police fired tear gas inside a subway station and were filmed beating protesters with batons. Meanwhile, Beijing has escalated its rhetoric against the protesters, with a Chinese official saying their actions show signs of “terrorism.” It’s been 10 weeks since mass demonstrations erupted in Hong Kong, when millions took to the streets to demand the withdrawal of an extradition bill that would have sent people from Hong Kong to mainland China to face criminal charges. Demands quickly escalated for the resignation of Hong Kong’s leader Carrie Lam, an independent investigation into police brutality against demonstrators, and pro-independence reforms. We speak with Mary Hui, a reporter for the business news outlet Quartz who has been covering the mass demonstrations for more than two months.

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