Police in riot gear clash with protesters at Hong Kong airport

Police in riot gear clash with protesters at Hong Kong airport

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Police in riot gear and armed with pepper spray clashed with protesters in Hong Kong’s main airport terminal hours after it was announced that flights would be canceled for the second day in a row.

Video showed officers attempting to clear out the crowd at Hong Kong International Airport as the protesters chanted. It was the first time police had moved in on protesters to clear the terminal since they took over the airport.

Protesters have been in the streets for months now, after initially opposing a bill to create an extradition treaty with the neighboring People’s Republic of China. Critics of the bill said Hong Kong residents, who enjoy freedom and liberties not available to their neighbors in China, could be swept up in that nation’s murky judicial system.

Riot police use pepper spray to disperse anti-extradition bill protesters at the Hong Kong international airport on Aug. 13, 2019.Thomas Peter / Reuters

Even after the bill was removed from consideration by Hong Kong’s chief executive, Carrie Lam, protesters have not relented. They’ve called for Lam’s resignation and greater democratic freedoms.

Earlier Tuesday, the airport announced that all check-in services for departing flights would be shut down. Check-in services were also suspended Monday.

“Terminal operations at Hong Kong International Airport have been seriously disrupted as a result of the public assembly at the airport today,” the airport announced in a statement sent to reporters on Tuesday.

All check-in service for departure flights have been suspended since 4:30 p.m. (4:30 a.m. ET), the airport authority added advising people not to come to the airport.

David K. Li, Reuters and Associated Press contributed.

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