Left Menu
Development News Edition

'An eye for an eye': sea of black at Hong Kong airport protest

PTI | Hong Kong | Updated: 12-08-2019 18:07 IST | Created: 12-08-2019 18:05 IST
'An eye for an eye': sea of black at Hong Kong airport protest

The protesters streamed into Hong Kong airport and quickly transformed the arrivals hall at one of the world's busiest transport hubs into a sea of black.

Instead of being met by smiling relatives and friends, passengers arriving at the airport were greeted by thousands of pro-democracy activists chanting "fight with Hong Kong, fight for freedom!" Most were dressed in the movement's trademark black clothing, some sporting construction hard hats or gas masks. And many added a new accessory on Monday: eyepatches or bandages to pay tribute to a woman who suffered a serious face injury at a protest on Sunday night.

The woman, who has not been identified, was reportedly hit by a beanbag round fired by police, and rumors circulated that she lost her vision. Images of blood pouring from her face as she lay on a pavement quickly went viral and featured in posters calling for demonstrations under the banner: "an eye for an eye".

"HK police are killing us," read a sign held by one protester. "Hong Kong is no longer safe," said another. And on walls, pillars, and barriers in the airport, protesters sprayed painted red graffiti in English and Chinese reading "an eye for an eye".

"Hong Kong police are out of their minds, exceeding the level of force in their guidelines," said a 22-year-old protester who gave only his surname, Law. "Hong Kong people must rise up and not be afraid." Some protesters said the airport had been chosen as a venue for the demonstration because they believed the police would not fire tear gas surrounded by international visitors.

"The police wouldn't act unreasonably because if people from other countries see how police can come in and hit people, that would be serious," said Kelvin Liu, a 19-year-old student at the protest. Protesters had already staged a three-day sit-in from Friday at the airport, handing out leaflets about their movement to arriving passengers.

But while several thousand people joined those rallies, the scene on Monday was vastly different, with people so tightly packed that it took 15 minutes to move through the crowd from the upper floor to the ground floor in the arrivals hall. In the early afternoon, shops in the hall began to shut as the protest swelled, but well-organized volunteers moved through the crowd distributing water and food to the mostly young protesters.

Passengers looked confused as they exited wheeling their luggage, with some moving swiftly past the outstretched hands offering information about the pro-democracy movement. But others stopped to look at the posters and artwork hung around the hall and talk with the protesters.

"I think they have every right to do what they are doing," said Rhiannon Coulton, 33, from Australia after she landed at the airport. "I don't know if this will do any good for them, we will have to wait and see." Coulton arrived in Hong Kong airport on one of the last planes to land on Monday after authorities announced all remaining flights in and out would be canceled.

As protesters sang and chanted, an occasional muffled announcement could be heard from the loudspeakers above: "All flights have been canceled, please leave as soon as possible." Flight boards showed row after row of flights with their status reading "canceled". Underneath one protester had attached a sign: "Sorry for the inconvenience... But we're fighting for survival!"


TRENDING

OPINION / BLOG / INTERVIEW

Post-COVID-19 Nigeria needs a robust Health Management Information System to handle high disease burden

Nigeria is among a few countries that conceptualised a health management information system HMIS in the early 90s but implementation has been a challenge till date. Besides COVID-19, the country has a huge burden of communicable and non-com...

Morocco COVID-19 response: A fragile health system and the deteriorating situation

Learning from its European neighbors, Morocco imposed drastic measures from the initial stages of the COVID-19 outbreak to try to contain its spread. The strategy worked for a few months but the cases have surged after mid-June. In this sit...

COVID-19: Argentina’s health system inefficiencies exaggerate flaws of health information system

You can recover from a drop in the GDP, but you cant recover from death, was the straightforward mindset of Argentinas President Alberto Fernndez and defined the countrys response to COVID-19. The South American nation imposed a strict...

Rwanda’s COVID-19 response commendable but health information system needs improvement

Rwanda is consistently working to improve its health information system from many years. However, it is primarily dependent on the collection and reporting of health data on a monthly basis. Besides, evaluation studies on Rwandas HIS publis...

Videos

Latest News

Australia eases lending laws to stimulate coronavirus-hit economy

Australia on Friday said it would simplify bank lending rules to free up credit in a bid to stimulate the economy, which slid into its first recession in nearly 30 years due to the coronavirus pandemic. The changes will ease the regulatory ...

Louisville anti-racism protests resume amid tensions over Breonna Taylor ruling

Louisville braced for a second night of unrest on Thursday after two policemen were shot and wounded during protests over a grand jurys decision not to bring homicide charges against any of the officers involved in the fatal shooting of Bre...

Through solidarity, humanity will overcome COVID-19 pandemic: Timor-Leste President

In a video pre-recorded for the event, Francisco Guterres also highlighted the need for global solidarity to defeat the crisis. I am deeply convinced that together in a genuine spirt of solidarity, humankind will overcome this challenge, ...

Somalia committed to promoting democracy, accountability despite COVID-19 challenge

Despite the challenges of COVID-19, we are still working hard to undertake inclusive national elections where the Somali people can determine their future, he said. We are firmly committed to promoting and instilling a strong tradition of...

Give Feedback