Protesters in Hong Kong forced the city’s airport to suspend some operations for a second day. The protests are the latest escalation in a summer of demonstrations aimed at what many in Hong Kong see as an increasing erosion of their freedoms.
The Hong Kong unrest stems from China’s expanding influence there. In June, protests erupted after Chinese officials tried to push pro-China legislation that took away freedoms from citizens of the island territory. (See “Hong Kong Freedoms Fading” in WORLDteen for more information.)
In the Hong Kong airport, thousands of protesters blocked arrival and departure halls for five straight days.
Yesterday, the airport cancelled all departing flights for the second day. Arriving flights may not be affected, though dozens were already cancelled.
Tactics by Hong Kong police have become a major issue for airport protesters. They’re calling for an inquiry into alleged police brutality at the airport—yet some protestors have thrown bricks, eggs, and flaming objects at police stations.
United Nations representative Rupert Colville says there is evidence that police are using “weapons in ways that are prohibited by international norms.” His office is urging Hong Kong officials to investigate examples of firing tear gas into crowded, enclosed areas and directly at individual protesters. The United Nations is calling on authorities and protesters to solve their dispute peacefully.
What’s happening in Hong Kong reflects what the Bible says: that “lawlessness lead[s] to more lawlessness.” (Romans 6:19)
At the airport, black-clad protesters hold up signs to appeal to travelers from mainland China and other parts of the world. One reads: “Democracy is a good thing.” However, democracy won’t solve the world’s ills. Only God can do that.
UPDATE 8/14/19: Flights resumed at Hong Kong’s airport today. About three dozen demonstrators remained in the arrivals area, but check-in counters were open and flights appeared to be operating normally. The remaining protesters spread pamphlets across the floor but did not hinder travelers. Online, some protesters apologized to travelers: “It is not our intention to cause delays to your travels,” read one statement. “We ask for your understanding and forgiveness as young people in Hong Kong continue to fight for freedom and democracy.”
(Travelers wait at the check-in counters in the departure hall of the Hong Kong International Airport on Tuesday, August 13, 2019. AP Photo/Vincent Thian)