Protests disrupt Hong Kong work day as leader vows to remain

A woman wearing a wedding dress browses on her smartphone in between the banners displaying the flight cancellation information at the departure hall of Hong Kong International Airport in Hong Kong, Monday, Aug. 5, 2019. Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam maintained that she has no plans to resign in the face of a turbulent pro-democracy movement that held a general strike Monday leading to more than 100 flight cancellations and major traffic disruptions. (AP Photo/Royston Chan)
Hong Kong's Chief Executive Carrie Lam walks to a press conference in Hong Kong Monday, Aug. 5, 2019. Lam said recent protests have pushed the city to the "verge of a very dangerous situation" but the government will be resolute in ensuring public order. (AP Photo/Kin Cheung)
Commuters are reflected on a door panel of a subway train as they wait for the resumption of subway service at Fortress Hill MTR station in Hong Kong, Monday, Aug. 5, 2019. Protesters snarled the morning rush hour by blocking train and platform doors to prevent trains from leaving stations. Subway and train operator MTR said Monday that service had been partially suspended on five lines because of a number of door obstruction incidents. (AP Photo/Vincent Thian)
An electronic billboard shows some flight cancellation information at the departure hall of Hong Kong International Airport in Hong Kong, Monday, Aug. 5, 2019. Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam maintained that she has no plans to resign in the face of a turbulent pro-democracy movement that held a general strike Monday leading to more than 100 flight cancellations and major traffic disruptions. (AP Photo/Royston Chan)
A man in a white uniform crosses his arms as protesters sit on a platform at Fortress Hill MTR station in Hong Kong, Monday, Aug. 5, 2019. Protesters snarled the morning rush hour by blocking train and platform doors to prevent trains from leaving stations. Subway and train operator MTR said Monday that service had been partially suspended on five lines because of a number of door obstruction incidents. (AP Photo/Vincent Thian)
Hong Kong's Chief Executive Carrie Lam arrives for a press conference in Hong Kong Monday, Aug. 5, 2019. Lam said recent protests have pushed the city to the "verge of a very dangerous situation" but the government will be resolute in ensuring public order. (AP Photo/Kin Cheung)
Workers comfort a pregnant woman as protesters disrupt subway service at Fortress Hill MTR station in Hong Kong, Monday, Aug. 5, 2019. Protesters snarled the morning rush hour by blocking train and platform doors to prevent trains from leaving stations. Subway and train operator MTR said Monday that service had been partially suspended on five lines because of a number of door obstruction incidents. (AP Photo/Vincent Thian)
Protesters block train doors at Fortress Hill MTR station in Hong Kong, Monday, Aug. 5, 2019. Protesters snarled the morning rush hour by blocking train and platform doors to prevent trains from leaving stations. Subway and train operator MTR said Monday that service had been partially suspended on five lines because of a number of door obstruction incidents. (AP Photo/Vincent Thian)
Escalators to the platform are seen empty during the morning rush hours at Fortress Hill MTR station in Hong Kong, Monday, Aug. 5, 2019. Protesters snarled the morning rush hour by blocking train and platform doors to prevent trains from leaving stations. Subway service was widely disrupted in Hong Kong on Monday as a pro-democracy movement called for a general strike. (AP Photo/Vincent Thian)
People wait near an electronic billboard showing some flight cancellation information at the arrival hall of Hong Kong International Airport in Hong Kong, Monday, Aug. 5, 2019. Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam maintained that she has no plans to resign in the face of a turbulent pro-democracy movement that held a general strike Monday leading to more than 100 flight cancellations and major traffic disruptions. (AP Photo/Royston Chan)
Hong Kong's Chief Executive Carrie Lam, center, speaks at a press conference in Hong Kong Monday, Aug. 5, 2019. Lam said recent protests have pushed the city to the "verge of a very dangerous situation" but the government will be resolute in ensuring public order. (AP Photo/Kin Cheung)
Hong Kong's Chief Executive Carrie Lam, center, speaks at a press conference in Hong Kong Monday, Aug. 5, 2019. Lam said recent protests have pushed the city to the "verge of a very dangerous situation" but the government will be resolute in ensuring public order. (AP Photo/Kin Cheung)
Hong Kong's Chief Executive Carrie Lam speaks during a press conference in Hong Kong on Monday, Aug. 5, 2019. Lam said recent protests have pushed the city to the "verge of a very dangerous situation" but the government will be resolute in ensuring public order. (AP Photo/Kin Cheung)
Protesters sit on a platform at Fortress Hill MTR station in Hong Kong, Monday, Aug. 5, 2019. Protesters snarled the morning rush hour by blocking train and platform doors to prevent trains from leaving stations. Subway and train operator MTR said Monday that service had been partially suspended on five lines because of a number of door obstruction incidents. (AP Photo/Vincent Thian)
Commuters inside a subway train wait for the resumption of subway service at Fortress Hill MTR station in Hong Kong, Monday, Aug. 5, 2019. Protesters snarled the morning rush hour by blocking train and platform doors to prevent trains from leaving stations. Subway service was widely disrupted in Hong Kong on Monday as a pro-democracy movement called for a general strike. (AP Photo/Vincent Thian)
Commuters inside a subway train wait for the resumption of subway services after being disrupted by protesters at Fortress Hill MTR station in Hong Kong, Monday, Aug. 5, 2019. Protesters snarled the morning rush hour by blocking train and platform doors to prevent trains from leaving stations. Subway and train operator MTR said Monday that service had been partially suspended on five lines because of a number of door obstruction incidents. (AP Photo/Vincent Thian)

HONG KONG — Droves of protesters filled public parks and squares in several Hong Kong districts on Monday in a general strike staged on a weekday to draw more attention to their demands that the semi-autonomous Chinese city's leader resign.

Police deployed tear gas in the Wong Tai Sin district, the scene of clashes with protesters over the weekend.

At the legislative complex, other protesters spray-painted the words "dog officials" and pasted yellow banners on the gates opposing an extradition bill. They have painted "Revolution of our Times" on one side of the building's exterior.

The general strike led to more than 200 flight cancellations at the city's airport and protesters disrupted subway service during the morning commute. Nevertheless, Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam maintained that she has no plans to resign in the face of the turbulent pro-democracy movement.

Hong Kong is on "the verge of a very dangerous situation," Lam said. She said current protests were operating with "ulterior motives" that threaten Hong Kong's prosperity and security.

"I don't think at this point in time, resignation of myself or some of my colleagues would provide a better solution," she said at a news conference.

The strike is the latest development in a summer of fiery demonstrations that began in June against proposed extradition legislation that would have allowed some criminal suspects to be sent to mainland China to stand trial. While the government has since suspended the bill, protesters have pressed on with broader calls for democratic reforms and an investigation into alleged police brutality.

A former British colony, Hong Kong was returned to China in 1997 under the framework of "one country, two systems," which promised the city certain democratic freedoms not afforded to the mainland. But some Hong Kong residents feel that Beijing has been increasingly encroaching on their freedoms.

Protesters snarled the Monday morning rush hour by blocking train and platform doors, preventing subway and commuter rail trains from leaving their stations.

More than 200 flights out of Hong Kong have been cancelled after a large number of airport employees called in sick in apparent participation in the general strike, Hong Kong media reported. Public broadcaster RTHK said Cathay Pacific and other domestic carriers such as Hong Kong Airlines were the most affected. Airport express train service was also suspended.

"Too much. Why do they have to create trouble for people not involved in their cause?" said 52-year-old John Chan, whose flight to Singapore was cancelled. "Hong Kong is sinking. The government, police and protest people have to stop fighting and give us a break."

The citywide strike and demonstrations in seven Hong Kong districts follow a weekend of street clashes between protesters and riot police.

The Communist Party-led central government in Beijing has condemned what they call violent and radical protesters who have vandalized the Chinese national anthem and national flag on the sidelines of major rallies. China has accused unnamed "foreign forces" of inflaming the demonstrations out of a desire to contain the country's development.

On Chinese state broadcaster CCTV's daily noon news report, an anchor read aloud from a strongly-worded editorial titled "The Chaos in Hong Kong Must Not Continue."

"We warn those maniacs and thugs who intend to continue to mess up Hong Kong by holding to a fantasy that you must pay a price for your savage revenge," the editorial said. "So please become aware of your errors, turn back from your incorrect path and set down the butcher's knives."

Claudia Mo, a pro-democracy lawmaker, said Beijing should consider engaging with protesters through Lam.

"We hope the learned people in Beijing would at least deliver some sincerity by suggesting via Carrie Lam, 'OK, you guys want democracy, perhaps we can talk,'" Mo said Monday. "We can talk — just three words. And maybe that can help appease the society."

___

Bodeen reported from Beijing. Associated Press journalist Royston Chan in Hong Kong contributed to this report.

People also read these

Global stocks rise as investors weigh future of US rates

Aug 30, 2016

Global stock markets mostly rose on Tuesday as investors weighed the possibility and timing of another U.S. interest rate increase this year

Police look into whether sun glare was factor in kayak crash

Aug 31, 2016

Authorities are looking into whether sun glare was a factor in an accident in which a ferry departing a New York City pier slammed into a group of kayakers, critically injuring one

Asian stock markets muted ahead of key US job report

Sep 2, 2016

Asian markets were listless Friday as investors awaited key U.S. job data that could influence the Fed's interest rate policy

Walk The Biz welcomes all casual and easygoing readers who seeks to digest business travel to international trade policy to starting in the transportation & shipping industry.

Subscribe to our newsletter now!

Name:

Email: