Sci-tech

Travel chaos in Hong Kong as protesters disrupt air and rail services

Travel chaos in Hong Kong as protesters disrupt air and rail services”

"For the first time, police used a blue dye in water cannons, which can result in large numbers of people, including bystanders and journalists, being indiscriminately marked".

"The remarks have distorted the truth, condoned the offenders, flagrantly interfered with Hong Kong affairs, which are China's internal affairs, and again revealed the hypocrisy, hegemonic thinking, and prejudice of American politicians", the statement read.

As evening fell, violence ricocheted through the city's commercial centre, with a minority of hardcore protesters unleashing a barrage of petrol bombs and rocks at riot police. During their marches, some radical protesters smashed traffic lights and dismantled roadside railings to set up barricades to confront the police.

Thousands of black-clad protesters then tried to enter the terminal building but were stopped by riot police.

The fire was extinguished as demonstrators were pressed into the neon-lit shopping hub of Causeway Bay, under a hail of tear-gas rounds and sporadic firing of rubber bullets.

Demonstrators planned to choke travel routes to the airport on Sunday after a chaotic night of running battles between police and masked protesters, the latest wave of unrest to hit the Chinese-ruled city.

The White House has said that it "firmly rejects" the notion that the USA is sponsoring or inciting the demonstrations, claiming that its concerns about human rights and democracy in Hong Kong are valid and genuine. "Every weekend we see police blatantly beating up protesters, beating up normal citizens, tear-gassing in residential areas, arresting people on false charges". Here are some protesters I recorded chanting at the police who were guarding the entrances.

Police fire a water cannon towards protesters near the government headquarters in Hong Kong.

Police made a number of arrests late on Saturday.

The protests were sparked by an attempt by Hong Kong's Beijing-backed government to pass a now-shelved extradition bill, but have expanded into a wider pro-democracy push.

Police responded with tear gas, and protesters threw petrol bombs into the compound.

Saturday marks the fifth anniversary of a decision by China's ruling Communist Party against fully democratic elections in Hong Kong.

Jess Chan, 23, a kindergarten teacher, said there was a measure of desperation in the air because many were students who would soon return to class. Chan said there was also a fear that Beijing would try to clamp down further on the protest movement before October 1, the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China.

"We plan to disrupt activity at the airport to draw attention to what the government and the police are doing to us", said one 20-year-old protester, asking not to be named.

"They didn't arrest me".

Protesters clashed with police in Hong Kong on Saturday as thousands rallied in spite of a police ban on demonstrating.

At least five high-profile activists and three lawmakers were arrested on Friday in a sweep aimed at defanging Saturday's rally.

Two of the Umbrella movement's leaders, Joshua Wong (黃之鋒) and Agnes Chow (周庭), were among those arrested, charged and bailed for "inciting others to take part in unauthorized assembly".

Both Chan and Liu were born in Hong Kong and have family and friends living there. The dye is meant to stain protesters, marking them out for later arrest.

The political crisis in Hong Kong - a former British colony - is now in its third month with no end in sight, the BBC China correspondent Stephen McDonnell says.

Protests escalated in early June in Hong Kong, a semi-autonomous Chinese territory of 7.4 million people. This was a thinly-disguised attempt to organize despite having this police ban.



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