Mass protests have been taking place across Hong Kong for weeks – the protests started off in opposition to a highly controversial extradition bill that would have allowed the authorities to send suspected criminals to mainland China for trial. That extradition law has since been suspended but the protest movement has grown into something a lot larger and doesn’t seem to show any sign of waning anytime soon.
Millions of people, many of whom have been dressed in black, have now taken parts in marches and other protests throughout Hong Kong and in particular the central business district. Despite allegations of police brutality and some criminal acts by a small number of protestors – including the storming of the legislature building at the start of the month – the protests have been largely peaceful.
And now, those mass protests are coming to Hong Kong’s International Airport on Friday 26th July. Organisers are calling on Hong Kongers and other supporters to gather in the arrivals hall of Terminal 1 between 1pm and 11.59pm this Friday – although, if this protest is like any of the others then it’s likely t0 take up far more of the airport than just the expansive arrivals hall.
Those behind the protest have been quick to point out that the event has not been organised by the airport authority or by any airline or union. However, the union that represents flight attendants for Hong Kong’s hometown airline, Cathay Pacific says it is backing the protest and is calling on its members to attend and support the protest.
Protestors will be calling for:
- Complete withdrawal of the extradition bill
- Release of previously arrested protestors
- An independent inquiry to investigate police brutality
- Immediate implementation of universal suffrage
The protest is likely to be peaceful, although there’s been much criticism of police after a mob of pro-China supporters attacked subway riders on Sunday. The mob, dressed in white, attacked passengers in the Yuen Long area with metal rods leading to dozens of injuries. The police said resources were stretched and were unable to intervene because of other events happening in Hong Kong.
The Cathay Pacific Flight Attendants union expressed its concern about what happened in Yuen Long and called on the airline to do more to protect flight attendants and other workers who had to travel into work on public transport.