Police stand by in the Tung Chung station on September 7. Photo: RTHK

The Hong Kong International Airport was heavily guarded by police on Saturday as citizens called for a block on traffic between the airport and urban areas.

A large number of police was deployed at the airport, RTHK reported. People could only enter the terminal if they could present an air ticket to riot police to prove that they were due to fly out of the city within 24 hours.

Some protesters, wearing masks, gather at Tung Chung MTR station. Photo: RTHK

Dozens of police set up roadblocks at Lantau Link Toll Plaza to search buses heading to the airport, while water cannon trucks were also deployed at the airport.

Gas masks

Some people who went to meet friends or relatives at the airport were intercepted by police and had their bags checked. Some people with gas masks in their suitcases were taken away by police for further inquiries.

Netizens called for an anti-extradition protest at the airport from 2pm on Saturday. They said protesters did not have to wear black clothes – in a bid to prevent them being stopped from entering during checks by the police.

Most travelers arrived at the airport several hours earlier to avoid missing their flights.

As of 3.30pm, hundreds of protesters were gathered at Tung Chung MTR station, with some riot police outside, but there was no crowd at the airport.

Subway operator MTR Corp said it had to alter some services of the Airport Express between Hong Kong and the airport stations. Trains would not stop at Kowloon and Tsing Yi stations.

Some bus services were also suspended while E-route buses could only reach Tung Chung, instead of the airport.

Police check people and their bags at Lantau Link Toll Plaza. Photo: RTHK

On September 1, more than 1,000 protesters gathered near the bus terminal and blocked traffic between the airport and the city. They spent several hours walking from the airport to Tung Chung station, which was then closed by the MTR.

Some protesters damaged the facilities and entered the control rooms at Tung Chung and Tsing Yi stations. Then, some Hong Kong citizens drove their cars to Tung Chung to help protesters get home. Other protesters took ferries to return to the city but were intercepted by riot police at the piers in Central.

On Friday, clashes occurred between protesters and riot police outside Mong Kok police station. Hundreds of protesters surrounded the police station and the nearby Prince Edward MTR station.

The subway station was closed after some individuals staged a sit-in inside and demanded the train company reveal its closed-circuit footage taken on August 31 at the station. Protesters said it was unclear if any people had been beaten to death by riot police in the station, which was closed for two whole days after a clearance incident.

Protesters occupy roads in Yau Ma Tei on Friday September 6. Photo: RHTK
Police fire bean-bag bullets at protesters. Photo: RTHK
Tear gas was used by the police to disperse the protesters. Photo: RTHK

After firing tear gas canisters and bean-bag bullets at the protesters, riot police came out from the police station to disperse the crowd on Friday evening.

Protesters moved to Mong Kok and Yau Ma Tei stations and vandalized the facilities at both sites. Fare gates were damaged and graffiti sprayed on the wall.

Protesters damage equipment at Mong Kok and Yau Ma Tei MTR stations. Photo: RTHK
Riot police assemble to disperse the crowd in Mong Kok. Photo: RTHK
Protesters burn debris on street in Mong Kok. Photo: RTHK

Mong Kok and Yau Ma Tei stations were then closed. Protesters also burned debris at the intersection of Sai Yeung Choi Street South and Argyle Street.

On Saturday, Prince Edward, Mong Kok and Yau Ma Tei stations were reopened although some facilities were yet to be repaired.

In a statement, the Hong Kong government said it severely condemned the offenders’ violent and vandalistic acts. It said the police would take resolute enforcement action to protect the safety and rights of members of the public.

ReadOne third of MTR stations damaged on weekend

On September 4, Chief Executive Carrie Lam announced that her government would completely withdraw the extradition bill as a concession to try to open a dialogue with the public.

However, protesters said the withdrawal came “too little, too late” as more than 1,100 people had been arrested and many injured. They called for the government to meet their remaining four demands, which are the setting up of an independent commission of inquiry, the withdrawal of “riot” charges in relations to protests on June 12, the release of all protesters who have been arrested and the implementation of universal suffrage.

Liberal Party lawmaker Chung Kwok-pan said setting up an independent commission to investigate incidents during the protests was essential, while Paul Tse Wai-chun, a Legco member representing the tourism sector, said the government had to do more to help calm down the situation in Hong Kong.

ReadLi reaffirms vows on Hong Kong as Merkel visits

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