Protestors caused the shut-down of Hong Kong International Airport on Monday, August 12, with passengers and airport staff told to go home and hundreds of flights cancelled. The huge pro-democracy rally saw thousands of protesters cover the airport with placards, banners and even scrawl graffiti on the walls. Some flights have now resumed, although Hong Kong flag carrier Cathay Pacific has cancelled more than 200 flights for Tuesday.
Why are protestors wearing bloodied eyepatches?
Protesters have been wearing all black clothing but on Monday a new item was sported by many - a bloodied eye-patch.
This is in solidarity with a woman who was reportedly hit with a beanbag round by police on Sunday during clashes between protesters and authorities, in which riot police officers used tear gas and ran towards demonstrators in metro stations.
Pro-democracy activist Joshua Wong tweeted an image of a young woman on the floor, bleeding from her eye.
He tweeted: “HK Riot Police fired bullet and headshot a young lady.
“I am not sure whether her right eye will turn blind or not but it is totally insane and terrible.
“US should not export tear gas and rubber bullet to HK Police anymore.”
However, Hong Kong police said in a press conference on Monday there was no evidence the incident was related to police actions.
Despite this, protestors have adopted the slogan “an eye for an eye” and have been wearing bandages covering their eyes.
Demonstrators are using the woman’s injuries as evidence of what they say has been an excessive response to protests by authorities.
A 22-year-old protester at the airport told AFP on Monday: “It is becoming more and more dangerous, but if we don’t still come out at this point, our future will become more frightening, and we will lose our freedoms.”
Authorities are condemning the protesters, likening their actions to “the first signs of terrorism”.
Yang Guang, spokesman for the Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Office of the State Council said: “Hong Kong’s radical demonstrators have repeatedly used extremely dangerous tools to attack police officers, which already constitutes a serious violent crime, and also shows the first signs of terrorism emerging.
“This wantonly tramples on Hong Kong’s rule of law and social order.”
Chief Executive of Hong Kong Carrie Lam warned the protests are pushing Hong Kong “to the brink of no return”.
After the shutdown of the airport on Monday Ms Lam said it could take a “long time for Hong Kong to recover”.
However, she said authorities were still able to manage the situation adding: “The only thing we have to do is to go against violence and rebuild the city.”