From The Guardian

'Frightened, angry and exhausted' Hong Kong protesters apologise for airport violence

The Guardian | Protest -

Protest group asks for understanding after clashes in which a reporter and policeman were attacked

Hong Kong protesters have apologised to the public for the chaos caused at the city’s airport, one of the world’s busiest transport hubs, after demonstrations brought flights to a halt for two consecutive days and stranded thousands of visitors.

One protest group asked in a lengthy statement for understanding, saying protesters chose the airport as a forum for demonstration only because they no longer felt safe protesting in public due to police violence.

Netizens on @lihkgofficial apologise for the inconvenience they caused yesterday at the Hong Kong airport. Chaos erupted last night as #antiELAB protesters had blocked security gates. Some travellers said they were “selfish” and caused “nuisances”. #antiELAB #ExtraditionLaw pic.twitter.com/msHfRa9poL

Related: China flaunts military muscle as it seeks to quell Hong Kong's ‘colour revolution’

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Peterloo memorial quietly unveiled three days before anniversary

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Monument designed by Jeremy Deller made public despite accessibility concerns

Campaigners have accused Manchester city council of a PR own goal after a £1m memorial to the Peterloo massacre was quietly made public three days before the 200th anniversary.

The monument, designed by the Turner prize-winning artist Jeremy Deller, prompted criticism earlier this year when disability rights groups pointed out it would be inaccessible to wheelchair users.

Related: Manchester: Jeremy Deller unveils design for Peterloo memorial

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China flaunts military muscle as it seeks to quell Hong Kong's ‘colour revolution’

The Guardian | Protest -

Beijing’s rhetoric escalating alongside video of troop carriers at border, yet experts say deployment a last resort

The messages from Beijing to protesters in Hong Kong are increasingly ominous. First there was propaganda footage of Chinese soldiers garrisoned in Hong Kong drilling for intense urban fighting that looked more like a civil war than search and rescue or crowd control.

Now footage has emerged of armoured paramilitary vehicles massing across the border. Two months into demonstrations sparked by a controversial extradition law, official rhetoric from Beijing has escalated too. Authorities recently denounced protests as “terrorist acts”, promised an “iron fist” response and, perhaps most alarmingly, described the movement as a “colour revolution”.

Why are people protesting?

Hong Kong’s democratic struggles since 1997

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The Guardian view on Hong Kong: on the brink | Editorial

The Guardian | Protest -

The city is seeing new levels of violence. The authorities created this mess – how can it be ended?

The memories of the bloody crackdown on Tiananmen Square’s pro-democracy protests 30 years ago are sharpening. Hong Kong is heading down the path of no return, warns Carrie Lam, its chief executive. Beijing’s rhetoric is more threatening still, with an official warning of “terrorism” in the city. China’s state media has shown paramilitary police troop carriers apparently massing in Shenzhen, bordering Hong Kong.

Ten weeks after the protests began in reaction to the anti-extradition bill, the impact is growing, the mood is turning uglier and violence is spiralling. For now, Beijing’s intent still seems to be intimidation, not direct action. Brute force by the People’s Liberation Army or mainland paramilitaries is likely to be its last resort. But hardline language, harsh policing, attacks by thugs and punitive charges have not exhausted activists. They have only inflamed matters.

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Riot police in Russia punch woman during protest for free elections – video

The Guardian | Protest -

Russia’s interior ministry has launched an investigation after a video went viral showing a riot police officer punching a woman in the stomach during a protest for free elections. The footage shows Daria Sosnovskaya, 26, being dragged by two masked police officers in riot gear, with one of them punching her in the stomach before reaching down to pick up a baton. The images provoked outrage in the media and on social networks. 

Sosnovskaya, in an interview to the Mediazona website, said she was dragged away by police for protesting against the detention of a disabled man. A decision to block opposition candidates from running for election to Moscow’s city parliament has prompted a wave of protests that are among the largest since Vladimir Putin returned to the Kremlin in 2012.

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China releases video showing troop carriers moving to Hong Kong border – video

The Guardian | Protest -

State media outlets videos with a rousing choral soundtrack show armoured troop carriers purportedly driving to Shenzhen, the south-eastern state that borders Hong Kong. Chinese officials have released a series of threatening statements about Hong Kong's protesters, with one claiming 'terrorism' was emerging in the city on Monday after flights were cancelled

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'Nobody picks up the phone': stranded Hong Kong travellers bemoan airlines

The Guardian | Protest -

Hundreds left without support as some flights resume but many still support protest

As flights resumed at Hong Kong international airport, hundreds of travellers were still left with uncertain itineraries and little support from airlines as they struggled to make new arrangements.

The airport was brought to a standstill a day earlier, on Monday, as thousands of protesters swamped its arrivals halls to protest against police tactics at demonstrations over the weekend, prompting the abrupt cancellation of hundred of flights on Monday afternoon.

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‘Loud, obsessive, tribal’: the radicalisation of remain

The Guardian | Protest -

They hate Boris Johnson and Jeremy Corbyn. They no longer trust the BBC. They love civil servants, legal experts and James O’Brien. And now, consumed by the battle against Brexit, hardcore remainers are no longer the moderates. By Daniel Cohen

On 25 October 2017, a pensioner living in the Netherlands created a new hashtag. Hendrik Klaassens was concerned about the rise of Europe’s far right and wanted to bring campaigners together on Twitter. He settled on #FBPE: “Follow Back Pro EU”. Klaassens didn’t specifically have Britain in mind, but within a few days of his tweet, anti-Brexit Twitter accounts started using the hashtag. Before long, they were adding it to their usernames, so that it would appear whenever they tweeted. And in late November, when Mike Galsworthy, an influential anti-Brexit campaigner, posted a widely shared video on Twitter urging his followers to embrace it, #FBPE really took off. It wasn’t a memorable hashtag, but it didn’t need to be. The people consumed by their resistance to Brexit now had their own way to communicate, to find each other in the crowd.

Today, Klaassens estimates that 15,000 people still use the hashtag, most of them in the UK. Their tweets have always see-sawed between defiance and distress, but in the weeks since Boris Johnson became prime minister – as they have become convinced that Britain is in the midst of a rightwing coup – they have grown increasingly despairing.

Related: The death of consensus: how conflict came back to politics

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Russia protests: video of riot police punching woman sparks inquiry

The Guardian | Protest -

Moscow democracy protester Daria Sosnovskaya says blow left her unable to breathe as she was hauled away to police station

Russia’s interior ministry has opened an investigation after a video went viral showing a riot police officer punching a woman in the stomach during a protest for free elections.

The video shows a young woman dragged by two masked policemen in riot gear, with one of them punching her in the stomach so he can reach down to pick up a baton. The images provoked outrage in the media and on social networks.

Мент бьет кулаком в живот девушке. pic.twitter.com/vhHZUix8UV

Related: Moscow’s peaceful protests enrage the Kremlin because its only tool is violence | Alexey Kovalev

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Hong Kong airport reopens as Trudeau urges China to address 'serious concerns'

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Beijing state media warn on Tuesday that city is at a ‘critical juncture’ after protesters flood airport, forcing its closure

Operations have resumed at Hong Kong airport, authorities have said, after protesters shut down one of the world’s busiest airports in a dramatic escalation of months of mass demonstrations.

Dozens of flights were cancelled on Tuesday and further delays were expected after thousands of pro-democracy protesters flooded the city’s international airport on Monday, with travellers urged to check with their airline before they travel.

Related: Closure of Hong Kong airport shines fresh light on protest movement

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Violence in Hong Kong intensifies as protests enter 10th week – video report

The Guardian | Protest -

Pro-democracy street protests in Hong Kong stretched into their 10th week with no sign of either side backing down. Clashes with police were particularly serious on Sunday night compared with previous days, as riot officers fired teargas into a railway station to disperse crowds and were captured on film beating protesters with batons as they fled down an escalator in another station. Rights groups and democracy activists have accused police in Hong Kong of using excessive force 

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Fashion labels apologise for implying Taiwan and Hong Kong independent from China

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Coach and Givenchy among brands criticised on Chinese social media as Hong Kong protests fan wave of nationalism

A number of global brands have apologised to Chinese customers for implying that Taiwan and Hong Kong are independent countries, amid mounting tensions between Hong Kong and Beijing.

The Coach and Givenchy luxury labels, the sports brand Asics, the Calvin Klein clothing line and the Fresh beauty brand issued apologies on Monday after Chinese netizens launched online campaigns against them for implying that Taiwan and Hong Kong are not part of China on company websites as well as on T-shirts.

Why are people protesting?

Related: Storm in a bubble teacup over Taiwan firm's support for Hong Kong protesters

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Police in Hong Kong are brutally repressing democracy – and Britain is arming them | Andrew Smith

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The UK has been flouting its own rules to sell hi-tech weaponry to despotic regimes. It will only escalate under Boris Johnson

This weekend there was a further intensification of police violence against campaigners in Hong Kong. Over the past two months, police officers have attacked pro-democracy protesters using teargas, CS grenades, batons and small arms. More than 1,000 rounds of tear gas and 160 rubber bullets have been used since June, with human rights monitors accusing the authorities of beating protesters and applying “excessive and unnecessary force”.

It is likely that many of the weapons being used were made in the UK: the Omega Research Foundation has published photos of UK-made CS grenades deployed by Hong Kong police against crowds. Since 2015, the UK government has licensed £8.6m worth of arms to the Hong Kong administration. This includes licences for teargas, anti-riot shields, pyrotechnic ammunition, spying technology and other equipment that could be used in the crackdown.

London hosts a major arms fairs next month – the guest list reads like a roll call of human rights-abusing regimes

Related: The Hong Kong protests are putting China on a collision course with the west | Simon Tisdall

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Police fire teargas into Hong Kong subway station – video

The Guardian | Protest -

Rights groups and democracy activists have accused police in Hong Kong of using excessive force after teargas was fired into an enclosed subway station on Sunday night in Kwai Fong during an intense weekend of clashes. It is unclear how many protesters were in the station but it is rare for officers to fire teargas indoors. Pro-democracy street protests in Hong Kong entered their 10th week on Monday with no sign of either side backing down

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Hong Kong airport authority cancels flights over protests

The Guardian | Protest -

All flights not checked in by Monday afternoon have been grounded as rallies continue

Hong Kong’s airport authority has cancelled departure flights after thousands of pro-democracy demonstrators flooded into one of the world’s busiest air travel hubs holding signs reading “Hong Kong is not safe” and “Shame on police”.

The authority said: “Other than departure flights that have completed the check-in process and the arrival flights already heading to Hong Kong, all other flights have been cancelled for the rest of today.”

Why are people protesting?

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Moscow’s peaceful protests enrage the Kremlin because its only tool is violence | Alexey Kovalev

The Guardian | Protest -

Thousands are calling for opposition candidates to be allowed to run for office, without lifting a finger against the authorities

On a typical weekday, Moscow is a modern, rapidly developing metropolis, a far cry from its dark, litter-strewn, dilapidated self 20 years ago. Its formerly abandoned industrial parks are hipster havens serving artisanal cocoa milk lattes and avocado bruschetta to crowds that wouldn’t look out of place in east London or Brooklyn, while its public transport system is one of the cheapest and most efficient in the world.

But by the weekend, downtown Moscow is a warzone. For several weeks, Muscovites have been peacefully protesting in the streets, and the state has responded with unprecedented repression. Armies of masked riot police greatly outnumbering the protesters are viciously beating them with rubber batons. There have been multi-pronged pre-dawn raids on protesters’ homes and summary arrests of opposition leaders. Military recruiting officers have been hunting for draft dodgers at rallies and courts are dispensing harsh sentences for offences such as throwing an empty plastic bottle at the police. Universities are threatening to expel students spotted at protests.

Born in 1976 just outside Moscow, Alexei Navalny is a lawyer-turned-campaigner whose Anti-Corruption Foundation carries out investigations into the wealth of Vladimir Putin’s inner circle. 

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Hong Kong protests: brutal undercover police tactics spark outcry

The Guardian | Protest -

Footage of helmeted protesters suddenly making arrests causes concern after weekend of intense clashes

Rights groups and democracy activists have accused police in Hong Kong of using excessive force after teargas was fired into an enclosed subway station and officers posed as protesters before making arrests during an intense weekend of clashes.

“Clashes between protesters and police over the weekend escalated to another level especially on the police side,” said Man-Kei Tam, director of Amnesty International Hong Kong.

Why are people protesting?

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Hong Kong hit by more violence as protests enter 10th week

The Guardian | Protest -

Police teargas and beat demonstrators during fierce clashes across city

Hong Kong has once more descended into violence, with police firing teargas at protesters across the city as mass demonstrations calling for democracy entered their 10th consecutive week.

Clashes with police were particularly intense on Sunday night compared with previous days, as riot police fired teargas into a railway station to disperse crowds and were captured on film beating protesters with batons as they fled down an escalator in another station.

Related: Protests, clashes and lack of trust: the new normal for Hong Kong

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