Reuters HONG KONG (Reuters) — Hong Kong police checked people traveling to the city’s international airport for passports and air tickets on Saturday, preventing protesters gathering for another “stress test” of road and rail links in the Chinese-ruled city.
The increased scrutiny was aimed at avoiding the chaos of last weekend, when protesters blocked the airport approach roads, threw debris onto train tracks and trashed the MTR subway station in the nearby town of Tung Chung in clashes with police.
Protesters also occupied the arrivals hall last month, halting and delaying flights, amid a series of clashes with police.
Three months of sometimes violent protests have at times paralyzed parts of the city, a major Asian financial hub, amid running street battles between protesters and police, who have responded with tear gas, pepper spray and water cannon. Violent arrests of protesters have drawn international attention.
Police on Saturday searched bags of people on buses and trains headed to the airport, where police and press outnumbered passengers. They told about 100 youngsters congregating around the airport bus terminal to leave.
There were shouting matches outside the airport between police and people who wanted to pick up arriving family members but were told to go away.
“It’s absolutely ridiculous. We have our 80-year-old relative coming off the flight. How will she get home without our help?” said Donny, only giving his first name. “These police don’t listen to anything we have to say. We are normal people.”
Chek Lap Kok airport was built in the dying days of British rule on reclaimed land around a tiny island and is reached by a series of bridges.