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Hong Kong protesters take their cause to airport arrivals

Flights resumed at Hong Kong’s airport Wednesday morning after two days of disruptions marked by outbursts of violence that highlight the hardening positions of pro-democracy protesters and the authorities in the semi-autonomous Chinese city. About three dozen protesters remained camped in the airport’s arrivals area, a day after a mass demonstration and frenzied mob violence forced more than 100 flight cancelations. Additional identification checks were in place, but check-in counters were open and flights appeared to be operating normally. Protesters spread pamphlets and posters across the floor in a section of the terminal but were not impeding travelers. A statement from the airport’s management said it had obtained “an interim injunction to restrain persons from unlawfully and willfully obstructing or interfering” with airport operations. It said an area of the airport had been set aside for demonstrations, but no protests would be allowed outside the designated area. The airport had closed check-in for remaining flights late Tuesday afternoon as protesters swarmed the terminal and blocked access to immigration for departing passengers. Those cancelations were in addition to 200 flights canceled on Monday. The airport disruptions have escalated a summer of demonstrations aimed at what many Hong Kong residents see as an increasing erosion of the freedoms they were promised in 1997 when Communist Party-ruled mainland China took over what had been a British colony. While Hong Kong’s crucial travel industry suffers major losses, the city’s reputation as a well-regulated center for finance is also taking a hit. Some 21 countriesContinue reading