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Hong Kong airport protest leaves Australians among thousands trapped in transit

Media playback is unsupported on your device                  Media caption Mother demonstrating

Hong Kong authorities have hinted that the police crackdown could yet become more violent.

The airport canceled the flights late Monday afternoon local time (early morning Eastern Time), citing "seriously disrupted" operations as a result of the protests.

Critics said it would undermine Hong Kong's legal freedoms, and could be used to silence political dissidents.

The 149 people, arrested between August 9 and August 12, comprise 111 male and 38 female, aged between 15 to 53.

Hong Kong's protesters are appalled after what they say was an excessive use of violence by police overnight on August 12, with some groups calling for general strikes.

Tang said that on August 11, some people turned a deaf ear to the police's objection and got involved in unauthorized rallies.

Aside from denouncing what happened to the female protester who was hit in the eye and the clashes inside Kwai Fong metro station, the Students' Union also condemned police for firing pepper spray at close-range when they entered Tai Koo metro to disperse protesters.

Hong Kong carrier Cathay Pacific warned staff on Monday that they could be fired for supporting "illegal protests", as the firm comes under pressure from Beijing over pro-democracy demonstrations.

A protester holds up a banner warning of the dangers of travelling to Hong Kong at the airport.

But a spokesman for the Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Office of the State Council accused radical demonstrators of using terrorist tactics against authorities.

Protesters have called for an inquiry into the actions of the police.

"Hong Kong's radical demonstrators have repeatedly used extremely risky tools to attack police officers, which already constitutes a serious violent crime, and also shows the first signs of terrorism emerging", Yang Guang, a spokesman for the Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office, said at a press briefing, according to BBC. It was not clear how many protesters were inside the station at the time, but it has been rare for officers to fire tear gas indoors.

One of the world's busiest airports yesterday canceled all flights after thousands of pro-democracy demonstrators crowded into the main terminal of Hong Kong International Airport, while the central government in Beijing issued an ominous characterization of the protest movement as something approaching "terrorism". These anti-protester protesters have fought with the demonstrators and been attacked by them, and have made a point of wearing white in contrast to the protesters' black de facto uniforms.

"Members of the public are advised not to come to the airport".

Joydeep Chakravarti, a software engineer whose connecting flight to San Francisco was canceled during a layover in Hong Kong, was on his way back from a weeklong work trip to India.

The bill received widespread backlash when the government tried to rush its amendments through the legislature in June, amid fears that the changes would make those passing through Hong Kong vulnerable to extradition and trial in China's courts-notorious for the absence of rule of law.

It has struggled to find middle ground after one of its pilots was arrested for rioting over his alleged participation in a Hong Kong protest.