Violence erupted again on Tuesday at Hong Kong Airport as clashes between protesters and police continued for the second day in a row.
More than 200 flights were canceled due to the chaos between protesters and Hong Kong police on Monday and Tuesday, as “officers armed with pepper spray and swinging batons tried to enter the terminal, while protesters used luggage carts to barricade entrances,” The Independent reported.
It was also reported that a police officer pulled a gun on protesters this evening when he was mobbed by a crowd, CNN reported.
Now in its 11th straight week of protests, Hong Kong has grown increasingly strife with violence by police and by some protesters responding in kind. Many residents blame the Hong Kong government for using police as a battering ram, rather than having government officials speak directly with the citizens.
The protests began when an extradition bill was introduced by John Lee, Hong Kong’s Secretary for Security. The bill, titled The Fugitive Offenders and Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters Legislation Bill, would’ve allowed China to extradite and prosecute Hong Kong criminals. The bill was suspended July 9.
Although the bill has not been formally withdrawn, Hong Kong’s chief executive Carrie Lam said she has stopped the amendment process and reiterated there is “no plan” to restart this process in the Legislative Council, and stated, “The bill is dead.”
The recent protest movement has other demands including greater democracy, Tuesday’s demonstrations seemed focused at the police, whom protesters accuse of abusing their power.
Reports from Hong Kong reveal that a large number of protesters are outraged about violent clashes with the police. In addition to other injuries, one female protester’s eye was injured during the dispersal operation, which became a rallying cry for protesters.
For its part, mainland China has repeatedly warned Hong Kong residents to stand down before any military response is deemed necessary. The United States on Monday urged calm and a “simmer-down” period.