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Hong Kong International Airport cancelled all flights Monday in response to a flood of thousands of protesters staging a sit-in at the facility, demanding justice for pro-democracy activists and bystanders subject to violence by police and pro-China mobs throughout the city.
The cancellations affected more than 100 flights, many coming in from around the world. Authorities announced they expect flights will resume at 6 a.m. local time on Tuesday. Some flights were forced to turn around midflight after the cancellation.
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Hong Kong police estimated that over 5,000 protesters swarmed the airport, though protesters have accused police of understating protest numbers in the past to make the pro-democracy movement seem smaller.
Protesters waved signs urging foreign visitors to learn about the authoritarian state of the city and demanding justice for a woman believed to have been shot in the eye with a bean bag projectile, used by police to subdue crowds. Shocking photos of paramedics tending to the woman circulated on social media widely on Sunday night, showing her face bloodied and bandaged. Reports from paramedics who took her to the hospital say the woman has undergone hours of surgery to repair her face and will likely lose her right eye.
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Protesters at the airport held signs reading “an eye for an eye,” “dirty cops return her eye,” and many wore eyepatches in solidarity. Others made eyes out of paper plates and construction paper and waved them around.
While Monday’s was the largest and most disruptive protest at the airport since the protests began in early June, protesters have been staging sit-ins at the airport for days, leaving pamphlets explaining the protest movement to visitors and urging police to cease violently attacking dissidents. Outside of the airport, police have escalated their use of tear gas – on several occasions this weekend, shooting tear gas into enclosed...
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