Police have reportedly fired tear gas at demonstrators gathered near Sham Shui Po Station (Hong Kong) late (local time) on Wednesday, August 14, after Hong Kong International Airport (HKG) resumed flight operations earlier in the day. The clashes between protesters and police come after the anti-government demonstrators gathered outside the station on Yen Chow Street around 20:00 to pray in the annual Hungry Ghost Festival celebration; demonstrators reportedly shined laser lights at a police station, drawing a forceful response from the police after the demonstrators refused to leave the area. Tear gas was fired on Yen Chow Street (toward Cheung Sha Wan Government Offices) and at the intersection of Ap Liu Street and Kweilin Street. A heightened security presence and localized traffic disruptions are to be expected in the area over the coming hours.
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.
Protests and mass demonstrations of up to 2 million people have been held in Hong Kong since June 9, in opposition to a controversial bill that would allow authorities in 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 The bill has been suspended, though not fully withdrawn.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 in Hong Kong are advised to monitor the situation, avoid all demonstrations and accompanying clashes, and adhere to all instructions issued by the local authorities and their home governments. Budget additional time to travel to Hong Kong International Airport (HKG) and prepare for lingering flight disruptions (e.g. delays and cancelations), especially if protest activity continues at the facility over the coming days.
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