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Protesters Forced Hong Kong International Airport To Cancel Most Flights

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  • Hong Kong protesters forced one of the world’s busiest airports to close Monday.
  • Protesters were responding to reports of police brutality used against demonstrators on Sunday.
  • Demonstrations against a bill that would extradite Hong Kong residents convicted of crimes to mainland China have been going on since June.

Thousands of protesters forced the cancelation of more than 150 flights at Hong Kong International Airport on Monday.

All afternoon flights — including more than 150 departures and two dozen arrivals — were canceled, the airport said in a statement, according to The New York Times.

The airport added that the protest “seriously disrupted as a result of the public assembly at the airport today,” and a Hong Kong official called the demonstration “an illegal assembly.”

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Demonstrators at the airport were expressing outrage over the way police responded to Sunday protests using excessive force and teargas in an enclosed subway station in Kwai Fong and in the shopping district of Tsim Sha Tsui.

Protesters used the phrase “an eye for an eye” after a women was reportedly shot in the eye by police, the South China Morning Post reported.

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Witnesses reported police disguising themselves as protesters and before bombarding demonstrators with hidden batons and guns loaded with rubber bullets.

One video appears to show police pushing a protester into a pool of his own blood while he yells, “I’ve already been arrested. Don’t do this, I’m begging you.”

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China’s state broadcaster, CCTV, issued a message Monday night that read, “Alert! There are signs of terrorism on the streets of Hong Kong. … No country can accept terrorist acts in its own country,” The Washington Post reported.

“Hong Kong’s radical demonstrators have repeatedly attacked police officers with extremely dangerous means. … These have already constituted serious violent crimes and have begun to show signs of terrorism,” Yang Guang, a spokesman for the Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office in Beijing, said in defense police officers’ use of force, according to NYT.

The Global Times, a Chinese government-run tabloid, tweeted a video showing the country’s paramilitary police force heading toward the border between Shenzhen and Hong Kong, raising concerns of China’s potential use of military force on Hong Kong protesters.

Anti-government protests in Hong Kong have been going on for approximately three months in retaliation of Beijing’s “Fugitive Offenders and Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters Legislation (Amendment) Bill 2019,” which could extradite Hong Kong residents convicted of crimes to mainland China.

What started as peaceful protests in June — including a unified June 9 demonstration that drew an estimated 1 million people — has since escalated.

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