Protesters in Hong Kong have moved to the international airport to continue demonstrations which have been raging for months.
Hundreds set up in the arrival hall on Friday to “educate” tourists on the protests, and shouted slogans such as “free Hong Kong.” The region’s main airline, Cathay Pacific, has declared support for the demonstrations.
The airline said on its Facebook page it would “stand up for our human rights and be connected with the rest of the HongKongers.”
“United Hong Kong Stands!” it added. Staff members from the airline attended the demonstration, including 29-year-old flight attendant Meryl Yeung, who told French news agency AFP that it “was important to come to the airport and tell foreigners what’s happening in Hong Kong.”
“They only get information from one side, they think everyone [at] a protest are all rioters, or promoting Hong Kong independence,” she added.
Protesters crowded into the main arrivals hall of the International Airport, chanting slogans and displaying banners.
The world is watching
Protesters put up a television screen in the center of the airport to mimic an airline safety announcement, and held up signs with a detailed account of recent protests. Last weekend alleged triad members beat pro-democracy demonstrators who were returning from a protest, severely injuring 45 people.
Demonstration organizer Jeremy Tam said the “world has been watching in the past few weeks.”
“The airport is the most direct way for all tourists to explain what is happening,” he continued.
Nearby Singapore introduced a Hong Kong travel warning on Friday in response, mentioning the airport specifically as an area to avoid.
“Protests which are meant to be peaceful may still have the potential to turn violent with little or no notice,” the warning read.
Hong Kong Premier Carrie Lam has repeatedly demanded an end to the protests. Regional police earlier this week banned more protests from taking place this weekend, but it is understood that organizers plan to convene in the city anyway.
The protesters are demanding Lam’s resignation, and have called for greater democratization in Hong Kong.
jns/msh (AFP, Reuters)