Hong Kong extradition bill: Protesters stage peaceful sit-in at Hong Kong International Airport

Some of the 2,500 locals who gathered in Terminal One handed out leaflets to locals and tourists arriving in the city

Nicola ChanJoanne Ma |

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Thousands of protesters take part in a sit-down strike at the airport.

As of 4pm yesterday, around 2,500 Hongkongers had joined the peaceful extradition bill protest held at Hong Kong International Airport’s Terminal One Arrival Hall, according to organisers from the aviation industry.

A total of 14,600 people also signed a petition urging the government to prosecute attackers involved in the violent assault in Yuen Long on Sunday night, as well as to investigate the alleged excessive force used by police during the extradition bill protests over the past two months. Of those who signed, 5,620 were airport staff.

Most protesters, dressed in black, joined a sit-down strike which began at Arrival Hall B at 1pm. They held banners and posters written in a number of languages, calling for the release of arrested protesters and the establishment of an independent commission to look into alleged police brutality during the demonstrations.

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Demonstrators also chanted slogans in Cantonese and English, including “Add oil, Hong Kong”, “Reclaim Hong Kong. Revolution of the Era”, and “HK police know the law but are breaking it”.

Some were seen distributing leaflets about the extradition bill movement and crises facing Hongkongers to locals and tourists arriving at the airport. “We want to explain what happened in Yuen Long and Central on July 21, [especially] as a lot of [mainlanders] – who read news in China – seem to be unaware of these facts,” a 17-year-old protester surnamed Leung told Young Post.

To explain what happened last weekend, the student and her two friends prepared cardboard banners in simplified Chinese, English, Korean and Japanese. “[Since] the airport is a very international place, it’s easy for us to tell the whole world what’s happening here,” she added.

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At 4pm, Civic Party lawmaker Jeremy Tam Man-ho read out an open letter from a group of air traffic controllers. “We feel furious about the pointless, non-constructive and sometimes misleading comments given by senior government officials and the Hong Kong Police Force … We urge the government to provide a positive response to the five demands made by the people,” the letter reads.

“If no such response is given, we do not rule out the possibility of taking further action …”