Hong Kong: Thousands of pro-democracy activists chanted for reform on Friday as they staged a sit-in at Hong Kong airport, hoping to win international support for their movement after two months of protests.
“No rioters, only tyranny,” the demonstrators chanted as they began a three-day action -- the latest in a string of protests that have rocked the international financial hub. Activists, some dressed in the movement’s signature black, sat on the floor in the airport's arrivals hall and held up signs in Chinese and English condemning police violence.
“Save Hong Kong from tyranny and police brutality!” read one sign on a piece of cardboard.
They cheered loudly as activists overcame objections from airport staff and hung a long banner from the railings of the upper floor reading “LIBERATE HK. REVOLUTION NOW.” The protests that began two months ago over a controversial bill to allow extradition to mainland China have now morphed into a broader movement demanding democratic reforms.
Protesters have staged increasingly inventive rallies across Hong Kong, and brought out supporters ranging from families to lawyers in a bid to show the broad backing for their demands. But the demonstrations have also increasingly descen-ded into violence, with police firing tear gas and rubber bullets and protesters hurling bricks and bottles. The airport sit-in, scheduled to run throughout the weekend, is the second time the demonstrators have brought their message to the busy travel hub, hoping to garner support from international arrivals.
“Ask me about Hong Kong” read signs in different languages attach-ed to the sleeves of some of the protesters.
“We want to tell the passengers what’s happening in Hong Kong, so we prepared these leaflets showing our five demands,” said Charlotte Au, a 16-year-old student among the protesters.“We hope to let them know the truth through our communication and gain their support,” said.
Protesters want to see the controversial extradition bill, which has been suspended, completely withdrawn, and are also seeking direct election of the city's leader and an investigation into alleged police brutality.
“We want the government to withdraw the bill and set up an independent inquiry commission,” said another protester, who asked to be identified only by her surname Choi....