Thousands of protesters, dressed mostly in black, have held a rally at Hong Kong‘s international airport to “educate” visitors about the demonstrations currently gripping the semi-autonomous city state as it braces for another weekend of protests.
Flight attendants and airport staff joined protesters on Friday, with many sitting on the ground in the airport’s main arrivals hall. Some held protest banners, chanted anti-government slogans and handed out leaflets as travellers looked on.
One group used a television to show a satirical version of an airline safety announcement video detailing the protesters’ demands and warning of demonstrations in the city.
“Kindly put on your masks and black t-shirts … when attending the assemblies,” the video said, in reference to the colour widely adopted by anti-government protesters.
There were no reports of unrest or disruption to flights during Friday’s protest, which was the latest bid to keep pressure on Hong Kong’s pro-Beijing leaders after seven weeks of largely peaceful mass demonstrations followed by violent clashes.
An unprecedented challenge to Beijing’s authority since Hong Kong’s 1997 handover from the United Kingdom, the protests were triggered by a controversial bill which would have allowed extraditions to mainland China, but have evolved into a call for wider democratic reforms and a halt to sliding freedoms.
Organisers billed the rally at the airport – one of the world’s busiest – as an opportunity to brief arrivals on the political unrest, particularly visitors from mainland China where state-controlled news has portrayed the protests as a violent, foreign-funded plot to destabilise China.
SOURCE: NEWS AGENCIES