Flights resume after second night of chaos at Hong Kong airport
As some protesters embrace more extreme -- and sometimes violent -- tactics, police are beginning to make arrests.
Almost 700 people have been arrested since protests began on June 9, according to police, for a range of offenses including "taking part in a riot," unlawful assembly, assaulting police officers, resisting arrest and possession of offensive weapons.
Those found guilty face up to 10 years in jail. The youngest person charged is a 16-year-old girl.
As part of their list of core demands, protesters are demanding the government release those arrested and detained and drop all charges -- which the government appears to have no intention of doing.
The latest showdown at Hong Kong's international airport is extremely concerning for businesses, says Davide De Rosa, chairman of the European Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong.
Now that demonstrations appear to be blocking operations at the airport, "this particular action is having [an] echo all over the world," said De Rosa.
"It just simply doesn’t look good ... It's a very worrying situation for the businesses, or for the companies doing business in Hong Kong, and then for Hong Kong itself," he told CNN on Tuesday.
It doesn’t look like a situation that can resolved soon. I think it looks like a longer situation than expected.”
The Hong Kong airport demonstrations have been characterized by protesters wearing eye patches as well as posters and graffiti saying "an eye for an eye."
They refer to a protest on Sunday, where demonstrators claim a female nurse who was taking part had her eye badly injured when she was allegedly shot with a projectile by police.
Prominent protesters claims she was blinded in that eye. CNN has not been able to confirm her injury but there are photographs showing a woman lying bloody and stunned on the ground.
Outrage around stories of the injury sparked protesters to head to the airport in large numbers on Monday, leading to the first shutdown.
Tense confrontations are erupting between travelers and protesters at Hong Kong airport as flights are canceled for a second straight day.
Groups have had brief shouting matches, with protesters yelling “free Hong Kong” and frustrated passengers growing weary of the chaos.
Analysis on the ground: It's a tense scene over here. One airline employee told me that a lot of people are upset. They have children, there are elderly people. Some have visa problems. Others are losing money. All in all, there are plenty of frustrated travels who want nothing more than to sleep in their own beds tonight.
Hundreds of protesters have shut down Hong Kong's International Airport for a second straight day, with all check-ins suspended and dozens of outgoing flights canceled.
Here's what you need to know:
- Flights canceled: All outbound flights that have not completed the check-in process have been canceled after hundreds of protesters descended on the city's international airport. It is unknown at this point whether police will attempt to clear protesters from the airport -- they did not during a similar protest on Monday.
- Escalating battle: Riot police fired tear gas inside a subway station Sunday night after clashing with protesters -- but confrontation in the airport, one of the busiest in the world, would mark a huge escalation.
- Daily sit-ins: This is the fifth day of massive protests at the airport. Protesters began the sit-ins on Friday, in opposition to alleged police brutality and an extradition bill.
- Weekend of violence: The weekend was filled with violence -- as has become the norm. Police fired tear gas across several locations citywide on both Saturday and Sunday, and at least nine people were injured on Sunday. Images of a young female protester being wounded in the eye have galvanized protesters into an 11th week.
Protesters have used luggage carts to effectively block the entrances to the airport's departure gate at Terminal 1 ahead of security check.
Behind the blockade, hundreds of protesters have sat down. “We’re here just here to express our voice to the government,” one 22-year-old woman, who is about to become a teacher, said.
“Today the action is not organized by one group. Everyone just wanted to come out and speak out ... we don't only have one purpose.”
They’re not sure how long they’re staying. As with many of the recent protests in Hong Kong, there’s not a concrete plan.
Hundreds of protesters blocked security gates at one of the world's largest commuter hubs on Tuesday, with passengers struggling to get through the demonstrators to their gates.
Singapore's Scoot airline had to turn a flight around just as it was about to arrive in Hong Kong on Monday, a company spokesperson told CNN.
Passengers on Scoot Flight TR980 were scheduled to arrive in Hong Kong around 6 p.m. local time on Monday.
The low-cost carrier was forced to return to Singapore after Hong Kong's airport was temporarily shut down and landed back at Changi Airport at 8.37 p.m. local time.
The company said in a statement that all flights Wednesday will operate as scheduled.
"However, Scoot is monitoring the situation closely as it remains uncertain," it added.
On Monday night, the threat of police action at Hong Kong airport sent hundreds of protesters pouring to buses and trains.
But no officers ever arrived -- and now, with the airport swamped for the second straight night, protesters say they're confident they won't show.
Two students, who asked not to be named, said that while inbound flights were still touching down, police wouldn't attempt to clear the airport.
"Other people from other countries are coming to Hong Kong so if the police come here and do something dangerous, it will hurt other countries' people too," one female protester said.
"So we feel this is more safe to just sit and say what we want. It's more safe than going outside."
Recent weekend protests have seen violent clashes between police and demonstrators, including widespread use of tear gas and improvised weapons.