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Hong Kong airport staff stage protest against Yuen Long attack Hong Kong airport staff stage protest against Yuen Long attack
(12 days later)
Flight attendants and airport staff have begun a planned 11-hour protest at Hong Kong international airport to call on the government to account for a violent attack on residents by suspected gang members last week.Flight attendants and airport staff have begun a planned 11-hour protest at Hong Kong international airport to call on the government to account for a violent attack on residents by suspected gang members last week.
The aviation staff were joined by demonstrators dressed in black, the signature colour of the Chinese territory’s protest movement, who filled the airport’s arrival hall on Friday. They sat on the ground chanting “Free Hong Kong” as shocked travellers walked through the terminal.The aviation staff were joined by demonstrators dressed in black, the signature colour of the Chinese territory’s protest movement, who filled the airport’s arrival hall on Friday. They sat on the ground chanting “Free Hong Kong” as shocked travellers walked through the terminal.
Protesters held up signs designed to look like customs notices and played tongue-in-cheek audio messages resembling in-flight safety instructions.Protesters held up signs designed to look like customs notices and played tongue-in-cheek audio messages resembling in-flight safety instructions.
Here’s their protest video narrated like a tranquil in-flight announcement“Kindly put on your masks and black t-shirts when attending the assembly... Hongkongers will always stand in unity to fight for our rights and freedom. Thank you for flying with us, members of Hong Kong” pic.twitter.com/0pddnNyOT5Here’s their protest video narrated like a tranquil in-flight announcement“Kindly put on your masks and black t-shirts when attending the assembly... Hongkongers will always stand in unity to fight for our rights and freedom. Thank you for flying with us, members of Hong Kong” pic.twitter.com/0pddnNyOT5
Hong Kong has been gripped by nearly two months of demonstrations by residents calling for democratic reforms and the withdrawal of a controversial extradition bill. Clashes between protesters and police and other parties have become increasingly violent.Hong Kong has been gripped by nearly two months of demonstrations by residents calling for democratic reforms and the withdrawal of a controversial extradition bill. Clashes between protesters and police and other parties have become increasingly violent.
The protests were triggered by a controversial bill that would have allowed extraditions to mainland China, where the Communist party controls the courts, but have since evolved into a broader pro-democracy movement.The protests were triggered by a controversial bill that would have allowed extraditions to mainland China, where the Communist party controls the courts, but have since evolved into a broader pro-democracy movement.
Public anger – fuelled by the aggressive tactics used by the police against demonstrators – has collided with years of frustration over worsening inequality and the cost of living in one of the world's most expensive, densely populated cities.Public anger – fuelled by the aggressive tactics used by the police against demonstrators – has collided with years of frustration over worsening inequality and the cost of living in one of the world's most expensive, densely populated cities.
The protest movement was given fresh impetus on 21 July when gangs of men attacked protesters and commuters at a mass transit station – while authorities seemingly did little to intervene. The protest movement was given fresh impetus on 21 July when gangs of men attacked protesters and commuters at a mass transit station – while authorities seemingly did little to intervene. 
Underlying the movement is a push for full democracy in the city, whose leader is chosen by a committee dominated by a pro-Beijing establishment rather than by direct elections.Underlying the movement is a push for full democracy in the city, whose leader is chosen by a committee dominated by a pro-Beijing establishment rather than by direct elections.
Protesters have vowed to keep their movement going until their core demands are met, such as the resignation of the city's leader, Carrie Lam, an independent inquiry into police tactics, an amnesty for those arrested and a permanent withdrawal of the bill. Protesters have vowed to keep their movement going until their core demands are met, such as the resignation of the city’s leader, Carrie Lam, an independent inquiry into police tactics, an amnesty for those arrested and a permanent withdrawal of the bill.
Hongkongers have seen Beijing’s influence grow in recent years, as activists have been jailed and pro-democracy lawmakers disqualified from running or holding office. Independent booksellers have disappeared from the city, before reappearing in mainland China facing charges. Beijing’s influence over Hong Kong has grown in recent years, as activists have been jailed and pro-democracy lawmakers disqualified from running or holding office. Independent booksellers have disappeared from the city, before reappearing in mainland China facing charges.
Under the terms of the agreement by which the former British colony was returned to Chinese control in 1997, the semi-autonomous region was meant to maintain a “high degree of autonomy” through an independent judiciary, a free press and an open market economy, a framework known as “one country, two systems”.Under the terms of the agreement by which the former British colony was returned to Chinese control in 1997, the semi-autonomous region was meant to maintain a “high degree of autonomy” through an independent judiciary, a free press and an open market economy, a framework known as “one country, two systems”.
The extradition bill was seen as an attempt to undermine this and to give Beijing the ability to try pro-democracy activists under the judicial system of the mainland.The extradition bill was seen as an attempt to undermine this and to give Beijing the ability to try pro-democracy activists under the judicial system of the mainland.
Lam has shown no sign of backing down beyond agreeing to suspend the extradition bill, while Beijing has issued increasingly shrill condemnations but has left it to the city's semi-autonomous government to deal with the situation. Meanwhile police have violently clashed directly with protesters, repeatedly firing teargas and rubber bullets.Lam has shown no sign of backing down beyond agreeing to suspend the extradition bill, while Beijing has issued increasingly shrill condemnations but has left it to the city's semi-autonomous government to deal with the situation. Meanwhile police have violently clashed directly with protesters, repeatedly firing teargas and rubber bullets.
Beijing has ramped up its accusations that foreign countries are “fanning the fire” of unrest in the city. China’s top diplomat Yang Jiechi has ordered the US to “immediately stop interfering in Hong Kong affairs in any form”.Beijing has ramped up its accusations that foreign countries are “fanning the fire” of unrest in the city. China’s top diplomat Yang Jiechi has ordered the US to “immediately stop interfering in Hong Kong affairs in any form”.
Lily Kuo and Verna Yu in Hong KongLily Kuo and Verna Yu in Hong Kong
Friday’s demonstration against the government and police, who have been accused of colluding with triads (organised crime groups) to suppress protests, was also aimed at urging international visitors to pay attention to Hong Kong.Friday’s demonstration against the government and police, who have been accused of colluding with triads (organised crime groups) to suppress protests, was also aimed at urging international visitors to pay attention to Hong Kong.
A group of students held signs in English, Japanese, and Korean calling on “international friends for help standing up to the Hong Kong government”. Many held signs in red and white, designed to look like warning flags raised by police before firing on demonstrators, which said: “Tourist warning: do not trust the police or the government.”A group of students held signs in English, Japanese, and Korean calling on “international friends for help standing up to the Hong Kong government”. Many held signs in red and white, designed to look like warning flags raised by police before firing on demonstrators, which said: “Tourist warning: do not trust the police or the government.”
Authorities are bracing for days of protests, as public anger towards the police and the government of the chief executive, Carrie Lam, reaches new heights. After an attack on commuters last Sunday by suspected organised crime groups left 45 people hospitalised, dozens of groups planned rallies and issued public petitions.Authorities are bracing for days of protests, as public anger towards the police and the government of the chief executive, Carrie Lam, reaches new heights. After an attack on commuters last Sunday by suspected organised crime groups left 45 people hospitalised, dozens of groups planned rallies and issued public petitions.
'We saved ourselves': Hong Kong train attack victims describe 30-minute ordeal'We saved ourselves': Hong Kong train attack victims describe 30-minute ordeal
On Saturday, demonstrators plan to rally in Yuen Long, in Hong Kong’s New Territories, where last week’s attack took place, in defiance of a police ban. Instead protesters are calling on residents to come “for a walk” or to “stimulate the Yuen Long economy”. Organisers have filed an appeal to overturn the police decision to bar the march.On Saturday, demonstrators plan to rally in Yuen Long, in Hong Kong’s New Territories, where last week’s attack took place, in defiance of a police ban. Instead protesters are calling on residents to come “for a walk” or to “stimulate the Yuen Long economy”. Organisers have filed an appeal to overturn the police decision to bar the march.
Protesters at the airport called out to mainland Chinese travellers to come to Yuen Long on Saturday for “major discounts” on makeup, branded goods, and milk powder, items popular with Chinese shoppers visiting Hong Kong.Protesters at the airport called out to mainland Chinese travellers to come to Yuen Long on Saturday for “major discounts” on makeup, branded goods, and milk powder, items popular with Chinese shoppers visiting Hong Kong.
Hk protestors welcoming mainland travelers to Hong Kong advertising milk powder, makeup, and great deals on 7/27 in Yuen Long. What travelers may not know, is tomorrow is actually the protest to take back Yuen Long pic.twitter.com/WIp8mJQXjkHk protestors welcoming mainland travelers to Hong Kong advertising milk powder, makeup, and great deals on 7/27 in Yuen Long. What travelers may not know, is tomorrow is actually the protest to take back Yuen Long pic.twitter.com/WIp8mJQXjk
Opposition lawmakers, activists, and residents are calling for an independent investigation into why the police took more than half an hour to respond to emergency calls and why no plans were made to protect citizens despite warnings beforehand.Opposition lawmakers, activists, and residents are calling for an independent investigation into why the police took more than half an hour to respond to emergency calls and why no plans were made to protect citizens despite warnings beforehand.
More than 400 public servants from 44 departments have signed a letter threatening “concrete industrial actions” if the government continues to ignore public demands. The public servants posted images of their government staff identity cards, as proof of their positions, with notes on them calling for an investigation into the police.More than 400 public servants from 44 departments have signed a letter threatening “concrete industrial actions” if the government continues to ignore public demands. The public servants posted images of their government staff identity cards, as proof of their positions, with notes on them calling for an investigation into the police.
On Friday, 77 conductors who work on the metro line where the attack in Yuen Long took place also threatened “further actions”. Medical students at a university and staff at a hospital also planned to stage demonstrations on Friday afternoon.On Friday, 77 conductors who work on the metro line where the attack in Yuen Long took place also threatened “further actions”. Medical students at a university and staff at a hospital also planned to stage demonstrations on Friday afternoon.
Government efforts to tamp down the demonstrations have so far been ineffective. Lam last spoke to the public on Monday when she condemned the attack in Yuen Long but went on to criticise protesters for defacing the building of China’s representative office in protests last weekend.Government efforts to tamp down the demonstrations have so far been ineffective. Lam last spoke to the public on Monday when she condemned the attack in Yuen Long but went on to criticise protesters for defacing the building of China’s representative office in protests last weekend.
In a ruling likely to add to protesters grievances, Hong Kong’s appeal court on Friday overturned the conviction of two police officers previously found guilty of beating a protester in an alley during pro-democracy demonstrations in 2014.In a ruling likely to add to protesters grievances, Hong Kong’s appeal court on Friday overturned the conviction of two police officers previously found guilty of beating a protester in an alley during pro-democracy demonstrations in 2014.
On Friday, Reuters reported that it had obtained a recording from an official from China’s representative office calling on residents in Yuen Long to drive away protesters. “We won’t allow them to come to Yuen Long to cause trouble,” Li Jiyi, the director of the central government liaison’s local district office said at a banquet for villagers in the New Territories, according to Reuters.On Friday, Reuters reported that it had obtained a recording from an official from China’s representative office calling on residents in Yuen Long to drive away protesters. “We won’t allow them to come to Yuen Long to cause trouble,” Li Jiyi, the director of the central government liaison’s local district office said at a banquet for villagers in the New Territories, according to Reuters.
Chinese officials have denied allegations it orchestrated or encouraged the attacks, with pro-Beijing figures in the Hong Kong government calling such reports “malicious rumours”.Chinese officials have denied allegations it orchestrated or encouraged the attacks, with pro-Beijing figures in the Hong Kong government calling such reports “malicious rumours”.
In a press briefing on Friday, the chief secretary for Hong Kong, Matthew Cheung Kin-chung, reminded demonstrators planning to go to Yuen Long that if their appeal was not accepted their actions would be illegal.In a press briefing on Friday, the chief secretary for Hong Kong, Matthew Cheung Kin-chung, reminded demonstrators planning to go to Yuen Long that if their appeal was not accepted their actions would be illegal.
He called on demonstrators to “peacefully and rationally” express themselves, to “stay away from violence” and “respect the life of the residents of Yuen Long”.He called on demonstrators to “peacefully and rationally” express themselves, to “stay away from violence” and “respect the life of the residents of Yuen Long”.
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