The pro-democracy movement in Hong Kong continues for the 10th week, this weekend’s event featuring a peaceful sit-in at the city’s international airport.

Hundreds of people have joined a mass sit-in at Hong Kong International Airport on Friday in a fresh round of anti-government protests designed to secure international backing for the movement.

Organisers were expecting thousands to show up, and hoped police would respect what they said would be a peaceful protest that was initially billed to last until Sunday.

Ahead of the demonstration, the airport had increased security that led to passengers experiencing delays in reaching departure gates, as airlines warned travellers to arrive early for their flights.

The protest is occurring mainly in the airport’s arrivals hall.

The airport protest began in the early afternoon, as demonstrators in black T-shirts and face masks nearly filled the cavernous arrivals hall, chanting “Hong Kongers, keep going,” a rallying cry for the two-month-old protest movement.

“You’ve arrived in a broken, torn-apart city, not the one you have once pictured,” read a pamphlet that protesters offered to arriving travelers. “Yet for this Hong Kong, we fight. We shall never surrender.”

Meanwhile, police fired tear gas on demonstrators at Victoria Harbor.

The demonstrators are focused on obtaining 5 specific concessions from China.

  • A full withdrawal of a proposed bill that would allow Hong Kong people to be extradited to mainland China.
  • A retraction of any characterization of the movement as a “riot”.
  • A retraction of charges against anti-extradition protesters.
  • An independent committee to investigate the Hong Kong police’s use of force.
  • Universal suffrage in elections for the city’s chief executive officer and legislature by 2020.

The US and China are now sparring over Hong Kong.

China and the U.S. traded barbs with one another Friday as demonstrators in Hong Kong began a three-day protest at the city’s airport.

The State Department slammed the Chinese government Thursday, accusing it behaving like a “thuggish regime” after a state newspaper published personal information of an American diplomat in Hong Kong who reportedly spoke with supposed “Hong Kong independence” activists.

“I don’t think that leaking an American diplomat’s private information, pictures, names of their children – I don’t think that is a formal protest, that is what a thuggish regime would do,” State Department spokeswoman Morgan Ortagus said at a news briefing in Washington on Thursday.

Meanwhile, China has ordered the Hong Kong-based airline Cathay Pacific to suspend any staff who supports the pro-democracy protests.

Beijing’s demand coincided with a peaceful rally at Hong Kong’s airport, where thousands occupied a terminal.

Cathay also faced pressure online after China’s state-run press fuelled a #BoycottCathayPacific hashtag, which trended on Chinese social media.

A pilot and ground staff have already been suspended as a result of this move.

 
 
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