'Democracy now': Protesters at Hong Kong airport

Credit: Reuters - Politics
Published on August 9, 2019 - Duration: 01:53s

'Democracy now': Protesters at Hong Kong airport

Demonstrators crowded the arrivals hall at Hong Kong airport on Friday, handing out anti-government leaflets and waving banners in a dozen languages in a bid to raise awareness among visitors ahead of weekend rallies planned across the city.

Francesca Lynagh reports.

'Democracy now': Protesters at Hong Kong airport

About a thousand protesters crowded the arrivals hall at Hong Kong airport on Friday (August 9).

They chanted for democracy and handed out these leaflets - apologizing to visitors for the state of their city.

The sit-in is expected to last all weekend.

It came as chief executive Carrie Lam warned that the weeks of demonstrations could hit the financial hub quote ''like a 'tsunami'.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) HONG KONG CHIEF EXECUTIVE CARRIE LAM, SAYING: "A small minority of people, as you have said, they did not mind destroying Hong Kong's economy.

They have no stake in the society which so many people have helped to build.

And that's why they resort to all this violence and obstruction, causing huge damage to the economy, and to the daily life of the people." (SOUNDBITE) (English) HONG KONG CHIEF EXECUTIVE CARRIE LAM, SAYING: "So I am indeed very worried about this situation, and that's why I appeal for calm, calmness and rationality, to help us to overcome this situation." Dozens of companies have warned of faltering earnings, amid daily warnings this week from city officials that the protests were hurting residents' livelihoods and that Hong Kong could be headed for recession.

Lam said the city's Executive Council would soon resume meetings to prepare a policy response that would consider quote "daring measures." What started as an angry response to a now-suspended law that would have allowed criminal suspects to be extradited for trial in China, now incorporates demands for greater democracy, Lam's resignation and even keeping out mainland tourists.

The protests have become more and more violent in recent weeks.

But on Friday, the arrivals hall remained calm, with no police presence in sight.

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