Hong Kong protesters return to streets

5 protesters gather at Harcourt Road during their clash outside the Legislative Council. Authorities have arrested more than 600 people since the protests escalated in June 2019

The authorities on Hong Kong have canceled all outgoing flights after protesters have swarmed the worldwide airport.

A United Kingdom foreign office spokesperson said: "The foreign secretary underlined the strength of the relationship between the United Kingdom and Hong Kong, noting our support for Hong Kong's high degree of autonomy as provided for in the joint declaration and our commitment to the principle of "one country, two systems".

"Airport operations at Hong Kong International Airport have been seriously disrupted as a result of the public assembly at the airport today", it said in a statement.

Roads to the airport were congested and vehicle parks were full, the authority said.

"Hong Kong's protesters have been frequently using extremely unsafe tools to attack the police in recent days, constituting serious crimes with sprouts of terrorism emerging", said Hong Kong and Macau Affairs office spokesman Yang Guang.

Police stormed a number of underground train stations, firing tear gas and arresting protesters.

Police made arrests at several locations throughout the day, with protesters accusing plainclothes officers of dressing in the movement's signature black to infiltrate their ranks and detain activists.

Hong Kong police fired volleys of tear gas to disperse anti-government protesters on Saturday - sending tourists fleeing weeping in Kowloon - only for demonstrators to regroup and gather elsewhere during another tense, hot and restive weekend.

"This wantonly tramples on Hong Kong's rule of law and social order".

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A massive traffic jam soon formed on the highway leading back to Hong Kong's city center.

In Hong Kong, more protests are planned on August 11 after another night of clashes between protesters and local police.

On Sunday afternoon, a peaceful rally in the city's Victoria Park led to clashes when protesters moved out of the area and marched along a major road despite a police ban.

Chinese officials have also appealed to Hong Kongers directly to condemn the violent protests, in an apparent attempt to split the movement. Others hurled taunts and rocks, and shone laser pointers at officers' faces until squads of riot police pushed forward, dousing the crowd with tear gas.

As police have dialed up their aggression, protesters have sought to channel a Bruce Lee maxim: "Be water", employing a flash-mob strategy to frustrate authorities and stretch their resources.

Beijing says criminals and agitators are stirring violence, encouraged by "interfering" foreign powers including Britain, but the protests seem to enjoy broad support in the city of more than 7 million people.

"There is no chance of retreating, and as a Hong Konger, this is the last hope we see of being able to achieve democracy", said a 20-year-old protester who gave his last name as Lam.

A former British colony, Hong Kong was returned to China in 1997 under the principle of "one country, two systems", which promises the city certain democratic rights not afforded to people on the mainland.

The United States flag has become a frequent sight at protests, as some called for Washington to, among other actions, pass the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act, a law that would reaffirm U.S. commitment to upholding Hong Kong's limited democracy and rule of law.

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