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Protests at airport and British Consulate in Hong Kong

Hong Kong has been the scene of increasingly tense protests over the past three months.

Police remove road barriers put up by protesters near the airport in Hong Kong (Kin Cheung/AP)
Police remove road barriers put up by protesters near the airport in Hong Kong (Kin Cheung/AP)

By Associated Press Reporter

The train service to Hong Kong’s airport has been suspended as pro-democracy demonstrators gathered there, while protesters outside the British Consulate called on London to grant citizenship to people born in the former colony before its return to China.

Hong Kong has been the scene of increasingly tense anti-government protests for nearly three months.

They began in response to a proposed extradition law and have expanded to include other grievances and demands for more democracy and the resignation of the territory’s leader.

On Saturday, protesters threw petrol bombs at government headquarters.

Police stormed a subway car and hit passengers with clubs and pepper spray.

On Sunday, several hundred protesters gathered at the airport on Chek Lap Kok island in the early afternoon and set up temporary barricades at a bus terminal.

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A passenger walks to the airport after roads were blocked by protesters in Hong Kong (Kin Cheung/AP)

A dozen blue-uniformed police officers in riot helmets formed a line across an entrance corridor to keep them out of the terminal.

The operator of the express train to the airport from central Hong Kong said service was suspended.

MTR said trains into the city from the airport are still running.

Police issued a statement warning protesters were violating a court injunction against disrupting airport operations.

The protesters were mostly peaceful, but a government statement said some threw objects at police and airport employees.

A separate statement said iron poles, bricks and rocks were thrown on to the tracks of the airport train, “seriously obstructing” service.

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Protesters set fire to barricades near the airport in Hong Kong (Vincent Yu/AP)

About 200 protesters outside the British Consulate in the city waved British flags and chanted “Equal rights now!” and “Stand with Hong Kong!”

A saxophonist in dark glasses played God Save The Queen.

Many wanted London to grant citizenship to people born in Hong Kong before 1997.

The British government refused that, instead giving people in the colony British National Overseas passports they could use to travel abroad but not settle in the United Kingdom.

“I hope the British Government can change its nationality law,” said protester Gary Law.

Police had denied permission for a march on Saturday to mark the fifth anniversary of a decision by China against fully democratic elections in Hong Kong, but protesters took to the streets anyway.

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A protester uses a shield to cover himself as he faces policemen in Hong Kong on Saturday (Jae C Hong/AP)

Two police officers fired two warning shots into the air “to protect their own safety” after being surrounded on Saturday by protesters near Victoria Park, the government said.

It was the second time police fired warning shots following an incident the previous weekend.

Protests erupted in early June in Hong Kong, whose 7.4 million people were promised a “high degree of autonomy” under an agreement between Beijing and London.

Opponents saw the proposed extradition bill as an erosion of that “one country, two systems” framework.

It would have allowed crime suspects to be sent to the mainland, where the ruling Communist Party controls the court system.

Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam suspended work on the law but protesters want it withdrawn completely.

They have also called for Ms Lam’s resignation and democratic elections.

PA

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