Hong Kong Protestors Deliberately Disrupted Transport Services & Went on Strike

Image: Twitter (@bgfotologue & @adeelrai)

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’d know about the protests in Hong Kong that never seems to end.

And for a recap, here’s what happened: it all started with an extradition bill that’ll allow Hong Kong to extradite Hong Kong citizens to China if they commit a crime there. Fearing that the authorities could abuse the system, they carried out massive protests and sort of “won”: the bill was declared “dead” by the Chief Executive of Hong Kong.

But the protestors aren’t happy, and continued to protest, seeking for the complete withdrawal of the bill and the resignation of their Chief Executive, among other requests.

And it’s moved from peaceful protest marches to sometimes violent ones, and in a rare move by the police, they’ve started to ban certain protests.

This morning, the protestors took it up a notch: instead of just silently marching or holding signs in their airport, they’ve planned to do things that’ll disrupt the country.

Planned to Strike

The pro-democracy protestors decided to ramp up their efforts by planning a city-wide strike that’ll take place today.

Lest you don’t feel the pain because Singapore seldom has a strike, here’s how it could disrupt your life: imagine you wake up in the morning and there’s no buses because bus drivers have all gone on a strike. You tried Grabbing and all Grab drivers are on strike, too.

So you called in sick, and decided to have breakfast at the nearby hawker centre…only to see that all stalls are closed.

Needless to say, a city-wide strike isn’t a joking matter.

According to reports, people have agreed to the strike, or call in sick, by coordinating on social media apps, and they comprised workers from many industries, from civil servants and social workers, to flight attendants, pilots, bus drivers and even employees of the city’s Disneyland.

In addition to that, protestors have also called to disrupt the subway system during the rush hours. Well, that is if the train drivers did come to work.

This morning, the pain is felt.

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Morning Transport Chaos

This morning, the protestors did what they promised: during the peak hours, protestors donning on masks (and sometimes black umbrella) stood between the train doors, deliberately preventing the train from moving.

Obviously, when one train is delayed, it’ll lead to a backlog of stuck trains.

That caused long queues and scuffles between commuters and the protestors. Commuters were seen trying to find other mode of transport to get to their workplace.

It got so bad that other than delays, there were a suspension of services in some stations.

The Labour Department is urging employers to show understanding and flexibility due to the train disruptions.

I don’t know about you, but there’s some real self-fulfilling prophecies there.

In addition, more than 200 flights were cancelled as there were fears of airport and airline staff going on strike.

Carrie Lam, Chief Executive of Hong Kong, Spoke Out

The leader of Hong Kong has been keeping a rather low profile since the protests, but this morning, she stood up and gave a press conference.

She said, “The recent protests and marches have seen escalating violence, and these worrying acts have gone beyond (protesting the bill).

“Such extensive violence in the name of certain demands or uncooperative movement have seriously undermined Hong Kong’s law and order and are pushing our city, the city we all love and many of us helped to build to the verge of a very dangerous situation

“The great majority of Hong Kongers face anxiety over their daily lives. Some of them do not know whether they can still take some forms of public transport, while others right now are being blocked on the way to work…The government has already announced that the Extradition Bill is dead, yet the protesters have continued to rally and strike.

“The government will be resolute in maintaining law and order in Hong Kong and restoring confidence; This is the time for us to rally together to set aside differences and bring back order and say no to chaos.”