Chief Executive of China's Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) Carrie Lam says that a spate of extremely violent incidents have been pushing Hong Kong to a very dangerous situation. (Xinhua/Lui Siu Wai)
Hong Kong's transport network was partially paralyzed on Monday as protesters brought fresh chaos.
Metro commuters were seriously affected by protesters, as many lines suspended operations.
At Fortress Hill metro station, protesters repeatedly blocked train car doors, causing the suspension of operation. "No nonsense. We want to go to work. Leave us alone," said a middle-aged commuter, confronting a black-clad radical.
The metro system in Hong Kong transports about 5.8 million passengers a day.
A husband who moved his pregnant wife out of a train car cried out: "Don't you ever come close to a pregnant woman. Call the ambulance, now!"
A citizen (R) complains protesters delaying the metro line at Fortress Hill metro station in Hong Kong, south China, Aug. 5, 2019. (Xinhua)
Footages aired by local broadcasters also showed motorists angrily accusing radicals of blocking traffic on the city's main avenues.
Flights were canceled at Hong Kong International Airport, one of the busiest airports in the world.
A passenger surnamed Woo said he was unable to fly to Japan as planned.
"It is very selfish for some people to hurt the interests of the vast majority of residents in the name of so-called democracy," Woo said.
More Hong Kong residents decided that they would go to work anyway and were not bothered by leaving home one or two hours in advance to avoid traffic disturbances.
"I have a very simple demand today -- that is to go to work no matter what," a resident surnamed Lai told local media.
A protester deliberately blocks the subway safety door to stop the train departing at Fortress Hill metro station in Hong Kong, south China, Aug. 5, 2019. (Xinhua)
"VERY DANGEROUS SITUATION"
Weeks of protests in Hong Kong escalated into a spate of violent incidents, which saw some radicals assault police officers and commit arson and vandalism, among other serious law violations.
At a press conference, Chief Executive of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Carrie Lam warned that extreme violence is pushing Hong Kong to a "very dangerous situation."
She urged people to peacefully express their demands and not to destroy the prosperous and stable future of Hong Kong.
Violence would send Hong Kong onto a road with no return, she said.
Lam said radicals' violent expression of demands has come at the expense of others' freedom and rights.
The radicals defaced the Chinese national emblem and flung the national flag into the sea, all these actions have challenged China's sovereignty and undermined the "one country, two systems" principle as well as Hong Kong's stability and prosperity, Lam said.
"Hong Kong's future and the lives of its over 7 million people shouldn't be put at stake," Lam said, calling for the peaceful expression of demands from Hong Kong residents.
ORDER, ORDER, ORDER
Calls for peace and order were mounting among ordinary Hong Kong residents.
A fruit stand owner surnamed Suen complained that few people came to buy fruits on Monday.
"I hope the situation is temporary and will subside as soon as possible," Suen said. "The government should not give in. The radicals reach out for a yard after taking an inch."
"Local people hung out less as transport became less convenient, and tourists dare not come to Hong Kong as they are afraid of the social chaos," said a pharmacy store owner on Hennessy Road surnamed Ho who wished the radicals would go home and leave ordinary residents alone.
"Otherwise, we are paying the price for what they did," she said.
Gary Lee and his wife kept their tiny restaurant open throughout Monday.
"Of course we are worried, but we need to do business. We have got rent to pay," said Lee's wife. "We want our old, normal days back."