Theweekendleader

Hong Kong protesters disrupt rush hour trains

Hong Kong

30-July-2019

Protesters blocked access to commuter trains in Hong Kong on Tuesday, causing widespread disruption during the morning rush hour.

Hong Kong has seen eight consecutive weekends of anti-government protests that began in early June in opposition to a now-shelved bill that would have allowed extradition to mainland China.

But these protests have evolved into a catch-all movement against the local government and are causing disruptions. The protesters are now demanding an independent inquiry into police violence, resignation of the territory's Chief Executive Carrie Lam and democratic reform.

There were scuffles between protesters and commuters, who were advised by travel companies to seek alternative forms of transport. They prevented trains from leaving across the city, the BBC reported. 

Some of them blocked doors, while others sounded emergency alarms. Crowds of passengers were left stuck on subway platforms and services were badly delayed for much of the morning.

"I think my work and meeting could wait," one commuter told the BBC. "But our freedom, safety (and) human rights are being taken away and that can't wait -- so I'm okay with it."

"I think it's okay because the government should respond to the citizens' demands," said another commuter.

One of the protesters said, "It's not our intention to inconvenience people, but we have to make the authorities understand why we protest."

The latest incident followed a similar protest last Wednesday, when dozens of demonstrators brought trains to a halt during rush hour. IANS