Flights resume after second night of chaos at Hong Kong airport

By Ben Westcott, James Griffiths, Helen Regan, Joshua Berlinger and Jessie Yeung, CNN

Updated 4:55 AM ET, Thu August 15, 2019
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12:21 p.m. ET, August 13, 2019

At least 4 people detained in clashes

From CNN’s James Griffiths

CNN witnessed at least four protesters detained and put into police vehicles before being driven away.

All police vehicles that arrived to the airport about an hour ago in tour buses have now left the airport, CNN crews on the ground report.

The tactical response unit was the last group of officers to leave the airport after clearing the roads for the larger police buses.

12:12 p.m. ET, August 13, 2019

What the chaos at the Hong Kong airport looked like

Chaos unfolded at Hong Kong's airport late on Tuesday night, when riot police clashed with protesters who flooded the airport to rally against a proposed law, which would have seen people extradited into mainland China's opaque justice system.

The police have started retreating, but here's a look at what the unrest looked like at the height of the chaos:

And here's video from in front of the airport:

12:11 p.m. ET, August 13, 2019

Trump says hopes Hong Kong situation works out "for liberty"

From CNN's Kevin Liptak

President Trump said Tuesday that unrest in Hong Kong is a “tough situation” that he hopes will work out “for everybody, including China.”

Speaking to reporters in New Jersey, Trump said his wish is for the situation to work out “for liberty.”

“I hope nobody gets hurt, I hope nobody gets killed,” Trump said as he departed.

Moments before, scenes of chaos played out on television of protesters and riot police scuffling at Hong Kong International Airport.

12:10 p.m. ET, August 13, 2019

CNN correspondent: HK confrontations between protesters and security force "increasingly ugly"

Confrontations between security forces and protesters have gotten “increasingly ugly with outside groups of civilians getting involved and the scene at the airport," CNN senior international correspondent Ivan Watson reported.

“It’s just a scene that's gotten uglier and uglier with no signs of compromise between the city government and the demonstrators. And it just feels like one massive self-inflicted wound by both sides, unwilling to find a compromise and resorting to do more and more damage to their own city in their effort to try to get some kind of an upper hand in this incredible test of wills,” he said from Hong Kong.

Watson said reporters on the ground have observed demonstrators detaining people suspected of working with the police.

“So according to our reporters on the ground, the demonstrators detained an individual that was suspected of being an undercover police officer and what our reporters on the ground have said is that those demonstrators then refused any medical first aid access to that person who then became unconscious," he said.

Watson said this is “an ugly turn of events” that will “damage the reputation of these protesters who have tried to kind of present themselves as heroes to bystanders.”

“But the fact is with their escalation of this campaign of civil disobedience, what they've done is ensnared a lot of innocent bystanders in this ongoing drama here,” he added.
11:57 a.m. ET, August 13, 2019

Here's what you need to know about the clashes at the Hong Kong airport

Tensions ran high at Hong Kong's airport Tuesday as protesters and riot police faced off.

Police started retreating, moments ago — but if you're just tuning in now, here's what you need to know:

  • Massive protests: For the second day in a row, protesters flooded Hong Kong's airport. Check-ins were suspended and dozens of outgoing flights were canceled.
  • Alleged undercover police officer: The protesters held a man for several hours, accusing him of being an undercover police officer. The man was seen surrounded by chanting protesters and appeared to lose consciousness. He was eventually successfully evacuated by paramedics.
  • Clash with police: Late Tuesday night local time, buses of riot police arrived at the airport and clashed with protesters.
  • What do the protesters want? Today's protests are the latest in an ongoing series, sparked in early June by a proposed law that would allow for people to be extradited into mainland China's opaque justice system. The bill has been suspended, but not withdrawn.
12:16 p.m. ET, August 13, 2019

Police are retreating from the airport

From CNN's James Griffiths

James Griffiths/CNN
James Griffiths/CNN

Police are now heading out from the airport. The tactical squad were the last officers left — and they're retreating now, too.

12:17 p.m. ET, August 13, 2019

It's 11:30 p.m. in Hong Kong. Here's what it looks like at the airport.

From CNN's James Griffiths

There's a heavy police presence outside Hong Kong's airport, including the special tactical squad.

Cops in black are carrying weapons, as protesters are blockaded inside. Essentially, reporters police are outside airport, while protesters and tourists inside.

Here's a look at the scene:

James Griffiths/CNN
James Griffiths/CNN

James Griffiths/CNN
James Griffiths/CNN

11:29 a.m. ET, August 13, 2019

As airport chaos unfolds, EU urges restraint from "all sides" in Hong Kong

From CNN's James Frater in London

The European Union is urging “all sides” to exercise restraint amid growing tensions and unrest in Hong Kong.

In a statement, an EU spokesperson said: “In light of the continuing unrest and the increase in violent incidents in Hong Kong, it is crucial that all sides exercise restraint, reject all kinds of violence, and take urgent steps to de-escalate the situation.”

The statement continued:

“It is now more vital than ever to engage in a political process of broad-based and inclusive dialogue, involving all key stakeholders.”
11:11 a.m. ET, August 13, 2019

Police in riot gear are now at the airport

From CNN's James Griffiths and Paula Hancocks in Hong Kong

James Griffiths
James Griffiths

Protesters at the Hong Kong international airport are now attempting to block the police buses outside of the airport, CNN teams on the ground report. 

Police in riot gear are now outside the airport entrance as well.