HONG KONG | Frenzied mob violence Tuesday against two men protesters suspected of being spies from mainland China marked the second day of pro-democracy demonstrations that have caused mass cancellations and disruptions in Hong Kong’s busy airport.
Calm eventually returned, with most of the protesters leaving the airport hours after officers armed with pepper spray and swinging batons tried to enter the terminal, fighting with demonstrators who barricaded entrances with luggage carts. Riot police clashed briefly with the demonstrators, who said they planned to return to the airport early today.
More than 100 flights were cancelled on Tuesday, the fifth consecutive day that protesters occupied the airport. Airlines still were working through a backlog of more than 200 flights from Monday when the airport announced in the afternoon that check-in processes would once again be suspended.
“Democracy is a good thing,” said signs that appeared to be aimed at mainland Chinese and foreign travelers. Many signs also contained apologies for the disruption to travelers: “We stand here to obstruct, only for one single reason. We love and care for Hong Kong. We hope you will understand. Sorry.”
Meanwhile, paramilitary police were assembling across the border in the city of Shenzhen for exercises that some saw as a threat to increase force against the mostly young protesters who have turned out by the thousands in the past 10 weeks.