Hong Kong braces for fresh rallies as protesters target airport transport

Clay Curtis
August 24, 2019

Some used an electric saw, attempting to slice through the bottom of the lamppost, while others tied a rope around it to successfully bring it crashing to the ground, the Associated Press reported. The demonstrators, who were holding up umbrellas to hide their identities, cheered as it toppled over.

Thousands joined a march from Tsun Yip Street Playground at 1pm in protest of the introduction of smart lampposts, which protesters fear may be used for surveillance.

Earlier thousands of demonstrators, many wearing hard hats and gas masks, marched through the industrial Kwun Tong area, where they were blocked by dozens of riot police with shields and batons outside a police station.

TRT World spoke to journalist Bruce Harrison for more.

Cathay Pacific Airways, which has become the biggest corporate casualty of the protests after China demanded it suspend staff involved in the demonstrations, protested against a planned rally by the Hong Kong Confederation of Trade Unions around the airport's "Cathay City" HQ on Monday. "We have to be very concerned", said march organizer Ventus Lau.

Particularly with tear gas grenades, protester's tactics vary, sometimes they take them with their gloves and throw them back to the repressors, or they cover it with the signaling cone, which contains the gas for a moment.

Police and demonstrators clash during a protest in Hong Kong, Saturday, Aug. 24, 2019. They retreated after the police charge, but it wasn't clear if they were regrouping to challenge the police again.

The latest skirmish marked the 12th straight weekend of demonstrations in Hong Kong and ended almost two weeks of relative calm, according to the AP.

They chanted slogans calling for the government to answer the movement's demands.

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The protests, which began as opposition to a now-suspended bill that would have allowed suspects to be extradited to mainland China, have swelled into wider calls for democracy, plunging the city into an unprecedented crisis and posing a direct challenge for Communist Party leaders in Beijing.

Protesters on Friday lined the streets of Hong Kong and part of the city's waterfront, raising linked hands and flashing their cellphone lights in a show of solidarity. To ensure the safety of travellers and staff, the company said it had arranged for trains with passengers on board to avoid stopping at stations where there were "police actions to disperse the crowds".

China promised to respect the freedoms in the semi-autonomous territory of Hong Kong after its handover from Britain in 1997 - including freedom of speech, unfettered access to the internet and an independent judiciary.

Simon Cheng Man-kit was detained for violating mainland Chinese law and "confessed to his illegal acts", the public security bureau in Luohu, Shenzhen, said on its Weibo microblog account, without providing further details.

Simon Cheng went missing on 8 August during a business trip to the city of Shenzhen.

The British government welcomed Cheng's release.

Chinese police said Saturday they released an employee at the British Consulate.

The extent to which Beijing shows no regard to basic legal rights is underlined by the fact that Cheng, who is not a diplomat, but nevertheless employed at the British Consulate in Hong Kong, was bound to attract worldwide attention.

The Global Times, a tabloid state-run newspaper, said he had been detained for "soliciting prostitutes", citing police in Shenzhen.

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