Hong Kong protesters block access to airport

Hong Kong, September 1

Thousands of protesters blocked roads and public transport links to Hong Kong airport on Sunday in a bid to draw world attention to their fight for democracy for the Chinese-ruled city which is facing its biggest political crisis in decades.

Planes were taking off and landing, with delays, but trains were suspended and approach roads to the airport impassable as protesters erected barricades and overturned trolleys at the airport and in the nearby new town of Tung Chung.

Some passengers were forced to walk the last bit of their journey to the airport by foot, dragging luggage behind them. The MTR subway station in Tung Chung was closed and demonstrators smashed CCTV cameras and lamps with metal poles and dismantled station turnstiles. Police moved in and made several arrests.

Chek Lap Kok is one of the world’s busiest and most efficient airports, reached by a series of bridges which were packed with traffic. “If we disrupt the airport, more foreigners will read the news about Hong Kong,” said one 20-year-old protester, asking not to be named.

Police and protesters had clashed overnight in some of the most intense violence since unrest erupted more than three months ago over concerns Beijing is eroding the autonomy granted to the territory when it was handed back to China in 1997. China denies the charge of meddling and says Hong Kong is an internal affair. — Reuters