or the second consecutive day, the Hong Kong airport has canceled its afternoon and evening flights as protesters have erected barriers inside the departure halls.
The Hong Kong airport is one of the world’s busiest airports but over the last five days it has become the city’s most prominent protest site as anti-extradition demonstrations continue into their 10th straight week with no sign of letting up.
Following a sit-in protest that lasted the weekend, thousands of demonstrators swarmed into the airport on Monday following bloody clashes between police and protesters the previous night. Many donned eye patches in solidarity with one young woman who was shot in the eye outside of the Tsim Sha Tsui police station.
The Hong Kong Airport Authority eventually canceled all departing flights for the remainder of Monday that were not already checked in, amounting to more than 100 flights.
By around 6 pm that evening, crowds at the airport began to thin out following rumors that police were preparing to move in. However, they returned on Tuesday afternoon using their trolleys and their own bodies to set up barricades to block departure points.
Check in at Emirates has stopped for the moment at Hong Kong international airport – check-in has been blocked by blockades pic.twitter.com/ENxHc5udKk
— Erin Hale (@erinhale) August 13, 2019
— Laurel Chor (@laurelchor) August 13, 2019
— CNA (@ChannelNewsAsia) August 13, 2019
Breaking at #HongKongAirport – #antiEALB protesters stage sit-in in front of departure gates which are now blocked. No passengers can get through. More flights expected to be called off later on. #HongKongProtests pic.twitter.com/0x3tl9uxGa
— Phoebe Kong 江穎怡 (@phoebe_kongwy) August 13, 2019
By 4:30 pm on Tuesday afternoon, the airport authority announced again that all check-ins were suspended, advising the public to leave the terminal and not come to the airport.
This all comes as China’s Hong Kong affairs office has declared that protesters in the city have begun to “show signs of terrorism” and Chinese state media has shared footage of armed police gathering just across the border in the city of Shenzhen.