Hong Kong airport operations 'seriously disrupted' by protesters for second day

Hong Kong airport operations 'seriously disrupted' by protesters for second day
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Anti-government protests have “seriously disrupted” operations at Hong Kong's airport, suspending check-ins for a second day, the airport announced Tuesday. 

“Terminal operations at Hong Kong International Airport have been seriously disrupted, and all check-in processes have now been suspended. All passengers are advised to leave the terminal buildings as soon as possible. Affected passengers please contact their respective airlines for flight arrangement,” Hong Kong International Airport said on its website. 

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The demonstration began as a sit-in at the airport over the weekend, but escalated into Monday and Tuesday with hundreds of demonstrators occupying parts of the departure and arrival halls, The New York Times reports.

The paper said some protesters used luggage trolleys to block travelers. 

After the airport shut down on Tuesday, thousands of black-clad protestors rushed into the terminal chanting, singing and waving banners, Reuters reports.

“Take a minute to look at our city, our home,” Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam said at a news conference, Reuters reports. “Can we bear to push it into the abyss and see it smashed to pieces?”

The demonstration follows ten weeks of increasingly violent protests as Hong Kong residents call for Lam to resign after she refused to formally retract a controversial bill that would allow criminal suspects to be extradited to China. 

Protestors are searching for freedoms they were promised from China in 1997, according to reports.

Chinese President Xi Jinping has likened the protests to terrorism, Reuters reports. 

Police in Hong Kong have arrested more than 700 protestors since June, The Associated Press reports.

The United Nation’s top human rights official has condemned the violence surrounding the peaceful protests, the AP reports.