After two days of canceled flights, the Hong Kong International Airport began on Wednesday to resume normalcy, after the airport authorities obtained a judicial requirement that prohibits protesters from meeting outside protest-enabled areas.
The authorities informed, in a statement published on their website, that this temporary court order will prevent "people obstructing or interfering voluntarily and illegally in the proper use of the Hong Kong International Airport." It also prevents people "from participating in any demonstration, protest or act of public order at the airport in areas other than those designated by the airport authority."
The provisional injunction comes after the airport remained virtually blocked during Monday and Tuesday by protesters protesting what they consider police brutality by dispersing public protests that have been going on in the city for ten weeks. These actions left hundreds of flights and thousands of passengers on the ground during those two days.
The number of protesters on Wednesday morning was only half a hundred in the terminal, after having been thousands in the previous two days, according to the Hong Kong newspaper 'South China Morning Post'. Yesterday, the sit-in at the airport ended in a chaotic way, with clashes between protesters and security forces, and with a journalist from the militant daily newspaper 'Global Times' reduced by the crowd.
The reporter, of whom the protesters suspected that he was a civilian agent, wore a t-shirt with the legend: "I love the Hong Kong Police."
The Global Times itself considered, in an editorial, that the protests "are no longer a complementary way of expressing demands under a legal framework, but an attempt to overthrow the rule of law and change the city's power structure ». According to the Beijing Government, which describes these actions as "close to terrorism," the journalist and another Chinese citizen who was also held by the protesters are still in the hospital.
Indignation and condemnation
The spokeswoman for the Office of Hong Kong and Macao Affairs of the Chinese Government Xu Luying expressed her "great indignation and strong condemnation" to the acts of those she considers "gangsters", and reiterated her support to the local police to take those who have committed crimes before justice.
For its part, in a statement issued on Wednesday, the police of the special administrative region condemned "the radical and violent actions of protesters at the airport." He added that he arrested five people for alleged crimes of illegal demonstration, possession of weapons of attack, assault on police officers, among others, and that two of his agents were injured in the clashes.
A group formed by protesters made public a letter in which it apologizes to the affected travelers: «It is not our intention to delay your trips and we do not want to bother you. We ask you to understand and forgive us while the young people of Hong Kong continue to fight for freedom and democracy. «The airport has become the last place where we can express our demands safely. Having taken the protests to the airport was our last resort, ”the text explains.
On the attack against the two Chinese citizens, the group also asks for "sincere apologies." “Some of us get upset easily and react disproportionately last night. We feel pain and discouragement for this, and we want to sincerely apologize, ”they explain.
Hong Kong is on its way to its eleventh consecutive weekend of protests, which began in June with opposition to a controversial extradition bill but have evolved into a series of demands for improvement of the city's democratic mechanisms. However, violence between the Police and some of the protesters is growing, in a spiral that has been increasing with the succession of protest marches.
In this regard, on Sunday there was an incident in which an undetermined number of police officers were injured by burns after protesters threw Molotov cocktails, something that for Beijing constitutes "a serious criminal offense and a sign of terrorism." For its part, the Police have left dozens injured with their actions, and recently wounded in one eye a woman who, according to hospital sources, could completely lose her vision.
Under the formula 'One country, two systems', Beijing undertook to maintain the autonomy of Hong Kong and respect a series of unimaginable freedoms in mainland China until 2047, after regaining the sovereignty of British-owned territory in 1997.
But many protesters saw in the controversial proposed extradition law – whose processing was declared "dead" by the Hong Kong Executive in early July – China's attempt to meddle in Hong Kong's affairs.