Officials at Hong Kong International Airport (HKG) announced on the morning (local time) of Wednesday, August 14, that operations have resumed at the airport following violent protests in Terminal 1 the day before. According to local media reports, most of the protesters dispersed by 06:00 on Wednesday. While operations have returned to normal, residual flight disruptions and rescheduling is expected in the coming days after officials canceled departing flights on the afternoon of Tuesday, August 13. Police officials said that five people have been arrested for unlawful assembly, assaulting police officers, and possessing weapons during Tuesday's protest in HKG. As of Wednesday morning, it is unclear if the protesters will attempt to assemble in the airport for a sixth consecutive day.
Activists are also planning further demonstrations against police brutality and the extradition bill in the city of Hong Kong over the coming days. Individuals are being called to gather at the Dharma Assembly at 20:00 on Thursday, August 15, and at the Revenue Tower on Friday, August 16. A march is scheduled in Hung Hom-To Kwa Wan on Saturday, August 17, as well as a demonstration by teachers at Chater Garden starting at 11:00. The Civil Human Rights Front (CHRF) is organizing another march on Sunday, August 18, starting at 14:30 from Victoria Park to Chater Road. A march from Tsuen Wan to Kwai Tsing is also expected to begin at 14:00 on the same day.
A heightened security presence and localized transportation and business disruptions are to be expected near all protest sites. Clashes between police forces and protesters cannot be ruled out.
Demonstrators have been gathering in HKG since Friday, August 9. Airport operations were previously suspended on Monday, August 12, after protesters blocked passenger access to the arrival hall and immigration areas. Clashes broke out between police officers and demonstrators late on Tuesday night, which continued for almost an hour.
Protests and mass demonstrations of up to 2 million people have been held since June 9, in opposition to a controversial bill that would allow Hong Kong to extradite fugitives wanted in mainland China and other territories. Opponents claim the law would erode freedoms and be used to silence dissent and criticism. The bill has been suspended, though not fully withdrawn. Demonstrations have spread from Hong Kong Island to Kowloon and the New Territories in recent weeks and have also become increasingly violent. On July 21, a group of pro-government men armed with bars and sticks attacked protesters and commuters in Yuen Long, leaving 45 people injured. Activists have also accused the police of using unnecessary force in their attempts to disperse protesters.
Individuals traveling via HKG are advised to monitor the situation, avoid all demonstrations, prepare for lingering flight disruptions, and contact their airlines to confirm or modify flight reservations. Budget additional time to travel to the airport once normal flight operations resume at HKG.
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