As consecutive days of protest neared a full week in Hong Kong, thousands of protestors took to Hong Kong International Airport, resulting in mass service disruptions.
On Monday, the airport canceled all departing flights, citing thousands of anti-government protestors causing serious disruptions, according to a BBC report. The cancellations impacted more than 160 flights on Monday of this week alone. Cancellations continued to mount on Tuesday as protestors again assembled within the airport’s terminals. The airport cancelled all flights departing after 4:30 p.m., while some protestors held signs apologizing to passengers for the disruptions. Later, protestors clashed with police equipped with riot gear and pepper spray.
In China proper, Beijing officials likened the actions of protestors to terrorists. According to news reports, the abrupt cancellations led many to believe authorities were preparing to meet protestors with violence. As a result, many left, opting to walk away from the airport along highways and other roadways.
Hong Kong International serves more than 120 airlines across 220 destinations annually. The airport opened in 1998 and serves more than 75 million passengers each year. It is one of the busiest in the world and one of Asia’s most important transportation hubs.
The protestors stand against unscrupulous actions taken by Hong Kong police, according to CNN. Many protestors wore eye patches, referencing an injury inflicted upon a woman hit in the eye with a beanbag round from police.
According to several media reports, Hong Kong police also showed off a water cannon truck as a warning and show of force to protestors in the territory.
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