Hong Kong airport resumed operations on Tuesday, a day after thousands of protestors forced it to shut down after occupying the main terminal building, AFP reported.
However, hundreds of flights continued to be listed as cancelled as activists issued a call for another round of protests from Tuesday noon. Hong Kong’s Cathay Pacific airlines had cancelled more than 200 flights till Tuesday morning, CNN reported.
The protests on Monday were fuelled by alleged police brutality. Protestors claimed that a woman lost an eye at a protest rally over the weekend and videos showed tear gas being used to control the mob.
The protestors adopted the slogan “an eye for an eye” after the woman was injured, and put up banners all over the airport, most of which were removed by authorities on Monday. It was, however, no clear if the protests will continue at the airport.
Meanwhile, Hong Kong’s Chief Executive Carrie Lam cautioned anti-government protestors against pushing the city into “an abyss”. “Take a minute to think, look at our city, our home, do you all really want to see it pushed into an abyss?” asked a teary-eyed Lam.
She said Hong Kong had reached a “dangerous situation” and the violence could potentially send it down “a path of no return”, BBC reported. An official from the Chinese Liaison Office in the city also said it would go into an “bottomless abyss if the terror atrocities are allowed to continue”.
Lam defended the police, claiming they were handling extremely difficult situations. “The only thing we have to do is to go against violence, and rebuild the city,” CNN quoted her as saying.
Tuesday marked the fifth consecutive day of protests, with a few of the protestors staying put at the airport. “We stayed here overnight because we want to show people it’s safe in the airport,” said a 23-year-old demonstrator. Another claimed that more people were expected to join on Tuesday afternoon and they “hope to paralyse the airport once again”.
Mass protests have continued in Hong Kong for about 10 weeks now. They started with demonstrations against a proposed extradition bill that was suspended because of the violent unrest. However, the protests evolved into a pro-democracy movement as people feared that the special freedom that Hong Kong possessed would be taken away by China.
Lam has repeatedly refused to meet the protestors demands for the right to elect their next leader and an independent investigation into alleged police brutality.