As of 4 pm, all departing flights have been cancelled. Only flights already headed to the airport will be allowed to land. After yesterday's police violence, student associations have called for more sit-ins and strikes. For mainland, there are "signs of terrorism".
Hong Kong (AsiaNews) – Hong Kong airport authorities have shut down the airstrip as thousands of protesters filled the departure hall, making check-in and boarding operations difficult.
The authorities cancelled all departures from Hong Kong airport just before 4pm on Monday. Except for planes that are already headed to Hong Kong’s Chek Lap Kok airport, all other incoming flights had been cancelled.
Hong Kong airport, one of the busiest in the world, handles on average 800 flights a day. The shutdown is affecting tens of thousands of passengers.
For the past three days, thousands of anti-extradition bill protesters have occupied the arrival hall. The sit-in was due to end this morning.
The event was largely non-violent and many passengers even expressed appreciation for the protesters, saying they were not causing any inconvenience to visitors.
However, after police violence last night, many student groups called for continuing the sit-in, urging people to protest.
Thousands of young people arrived to occupy the departure hall. Thousands more took to the roads heading to the airport, making traffic difficult.
For its part, the Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office held a press conference in the afternoon, claiming that the protests were showing “signs of terrorism”.
Such a statement could be used as justification for the intervention of China’s People’s Liberation Army in the territory. (P.W.)