Hong Kong on alert for planned airport protests | News | DW | 07.09.2019
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Hong Kong on alert for planned airport protests

Hong Kong protesters have said they will disrupt transport to the city's airport following another night of demonstrations and clashes with police. City authorities responded by limiting access to airport transportation.

Using online messaging boards, Hong Kong protesters called for a "stress test" of the city's airport on Saturday, proposing various ways to disrupt road and rail links to the terminals. It would be the first major mobilization of the movement since city authorities announced a surprise concession to the protesters earlier this week.

In response, Hong Kong police in riot gear were reportedly stationed at the high-speed rail link to the airport on Saturday morning. 

Hong Kong's airport ran a newspaper ad in the South China Morning Post urging demonstrators to "spare passengers further disruption."

The airport said the express train service would only run directly from downtown Hong Kong to the airport, skipping stops at other stations. Only passengers with flight tickets would be allowed to use the Airport Express train service.

Police have said they are on standby to mobilize and keep the vital transportation hub operating smoothly.

"The airport is an essential infrastructure catering to travelers all around the world," Lau Wing-kee, deputy airport district commander, told reporters on Friday.

Read more: Hong Kong pro-democracy movement: A timeline

Watch video 00:37

Joshua Wong's plea to Taiwan: 'Now is the time for us to show solidarity'

Too little, too late

Despite the promise earlier this week to formally withdraw the extradition bill that sparked the protests in June, demonstrators have said they will continue protesting until their remaining demands are met by Hong Kong's chief executive.

Read more: Hong Kong — Extradition bill withdrawal fails to pacify protesters

These include an independent inquiry into alleged police brutality, retraction of the term "riot" to describe rallies, and the right for direct elections of the city's leadership.

Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam announced the withdrawal of the extradition bill in a bid to end the protests, but many demonstrators said it was too little, too late.

Hongkong Protest | Protestierende am Flughafen von Hongkong

On September 1, passengers were forced to walk to Hong Kong airport due to protest disruptions

Another weekend of protests

On Friday night, thousands of Hong Kongers held rallies, including hundreds of demonstrators, many masked and dressed in black, who were seen ransacking metro stations on the Kowloon peninsula.

Videos showed activists tearing down signs, breaking turnstiles, setting fires on the street and spraying graffiti on the walls.

Read more: Sieren's China: In Hong Kong, it's time for compromise

Police fired brief volleys of tear gas and rubber bullets at a few hundred protesters who had gathered outside a police station in Mongkok district.

Last weekend, protesters blocked roads and rail links to the airport, forcing many travelers to walk to the terminals.

In August, hundreds of flights were canceled over two days of demonstrations at the airport, which included violent clashes between police and demonstrators.

Watch video 03:04

Hong Kong reacts to extradition bill withdrawal

wmr/aw (Reuters, AP, AFP) 

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