“Airport operations at Hong Kong International Airport have been seriously disrupted as a result of the public assembly at the airport today,” airport authorities said in a statement on Monday afternoon. “All check-in service for departure flights has been suspended. Other than the departure flights that have completed the check-in process and the arrival flights that are already heading to Hong Kong, all other flights have been cancelled for the rest of today.”
Monday marked the fourth straight day protesters have occupied the airport, one of the world’s busiest.
Many of the demonstrators were wearing eye patches on Monday to show support for a woman who was reportedly shot in the face by a bean bag round fired by police on Sunday. There are unconfirmed reports she could lose her right eye as a result of the injury.
Protesters have been pressuring the Hong Kong government for the past 10 weeks to answer their five demands, which include formally withdrawing the now-suspended extradition bill that kick-started these demonstrations and establishing an independent commission to investigate police conduct in their handling of the protests.
The demonstrations have, at times, turned violent and confrontational since the movement’s peaceful beginnings in early June, when hundreds of thousands of mostly young protesters marched against the government’s proposal to change an extradition law that would allow individuals to be sent to mainland China for trial. Hong Kong’s leader, Carrie Lam, suspended the bill indefinitely but stopped short of completely withdrawing it from the legislative agenda.
The protesters’ demands have since broadened to include universal suffrage. The movement led to a city-wide strike last Monday, disrupting traffic and hundreds of flights.