Protesters Shut Down Hong Kong Airport For Second Day In a Row

By R.J. Johnson - @rickerthewriter

August 13, 2019

HONG KONG-CHINA-POLITICS-CRIME

Thousands of protesters have filled the arrival terminals at the Hong Kong International Airport for the second day in a row, forcing one of the world's busiest airports to suspend check-in services.

"Terminal operations at Hong Kong International Airport have been seriously disrupted as a result of the public assembly at the airport today," the airport announced in a statement sent to reporters.

Check in service for departing flights was suspended at 4:30 p.m. local time, the airport authority said. Other departure and arrival flights will continue for the rest of the day.

"Members of the public are advised not to come to the airport," the statement added.

Flights at the international airport were cancelled for a second day as the protesters filled the departure hall, despite new security measures designed to keep them out.

Speaking from Hong Kong's government headquarters, the city's Chief Executive Carrie Lam, pleaded for protesters to stop.

"Take a minute to look at our city," Lam said on Tuesday. "Can we bear to push it into the abyss and see it smashed to pieces?"

At issue, is a now-shelved bill that would have allowed suspected criminals held in Hong Kong to be transferred for trial to jurisdictions in mainland China. Critics say the bill would allow Beijing to expand its control on the independent territory, and protests erupted in opposition to the bill on June 9. However, as the weeks wore on, the protests have grown into a generalized show of discontent by Hong Kong citizens with China's heavy-handed tactics, poor local governance, and Beijing's control over the international hub. Protesters say they're fighting for the "one country, two systems" arrangement that has been in place since Britain handed control of Hong Kong back over to China in 1997. They've also demanded that Lam resign, something she has so far refused to do.

"I, as the chief executive, will be responsible to rebuild the Hong Kong economy, to engage as widely as possible, listen as attentively as possible to my people's grievances and try to help Hong Kong to move on," Lam told reporters.

Meanwhile, video on Twitter showed dozens of Chinese paramilitary vehicles rolling into Shenzhen, a city located nearly 20 miles away from Hong Kong. State media described the buildup as preparations for "large-scale exercises."

"Something extraordinarily bad is about happen," Alexandre Krauss, who tweeted the video wrote.

Photo: Getty Images

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