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Hong Kong Gears Up for More Protests

FILE - Pro-democracy protesters block the entrance to the airport terminals after a scuffle with police at Hong Kong's international airport, Aug. 13, 2019. Hundreds of flights were canceled that day as pro-democracy protesters staged a sit-in.

Hong Kong is gearing up for more protests as some demonstrators made plans to again to target the airport this weekend.

Hong Kong police said Friday that the city’s high court had extended an order restricting protests at the airport.

“Any person who unlawfully or willfully obstructs or interferes with the normal operation of the airport” is liable to face criminal charges, said Foo Yat-ting, the senior superintendent of Hong Kong Police Force’s Kowloon East Region.

Hong Kong’s Airport Authority also published a half-page notice in newspapers urging people to “love Hong Kong” and not to block the airport.

Protesters have called for an attempt Saturday to blockade routes to the city’s airport, which could disrupt the complex if large numbers turn out.

Hong Kong 'Baltic Chain'

On Friday, thousands of Hong Kong protesters joined hands to form human chains in a peaceful protest, recreating a “Baltic Chain” that pro-democracy demonstrators used against the Soviet Union three decades ago.

Demonstrators linked hands or held their lighted phones above their heads, creating a line of lights against the night sky.

The “Baltic Chain” or “Baltic Way” was one of the largest anti-Soviet demonstrations, with more than 1 million people linking hands across 600 kilometers on Aug. 23, 1989.

11 weeks of demonstrations

Friday’s demonstration in Hong Kong was the latest in a nearly 11-week movement that began with calls to stop an extradition bill, which has now been scrapped, and has expanded to include demands for full democracy.

Last week, Hong Kong’s airport was forced to close when protesters occupied terminals. China called the behavior “near-terrorist acts” and some protesters later apologized.