One of the world’s busiest airports canceled all flights after thousands of Hong Kong pro-democracy protesters crowded into the main terminal Monday afternoon. Hong Kong International Airport said in a statement that the demonstration “seriously disrupted” airport operations. Hong Kong has experienced more than two months of mass protests calling for democratic reforms and an independent inquiry into police conduct, with both the protesters and police adopting ever-more extreme tactics.

Only flights that had already begun boarding or those cleared for landing were allowed to use runways at the airport, the AP reports. “All other flights have been canceled for the rest of today,” the statement said. Many protesters wore eye patches after reports that a young woman lost an eye after being hit by a police beanbag round fired at close range during protests on Sunday.

A massive traffic jam soon formed on the highway leading back to Hong Kong’s city center, with some people walking in the sweltering weather. Earlier Monday, Hong Kong police showed off water cannons that could be deployed in the case of future demonstrations, a development which Amnesty International has warned could lead to serious injuries if misused within the densely-populated city’s confined spaces.

At the airport, a flight attendant protesting on his day off, who gave only his surname, Lau, to avoid repercussions from his employer, said heavy-handed police tactics had alienated some people. “The police have told a lot of lies to Hong Kong people. We cannot believe them anymore. We have to come here to protest,” Lau said. China has reportedly threatened to bar air crew who take part in protests from its air space.

Let’s allow the pictures to speak for themselves
A man walks on a street after the clashes between anti-extradition bill protesters and police officers during a demonstration in Sham Shui Po neighbourhood in Hong Kong, China, August 11, 2019. REUTERS/Issei Kato/File Photo
Protesters with protective gear face riot police on a street during the anti-extradition bill protest in Hong Kong, Sunday, Aug. 11, 2019. Police fired tear gas late Sunday afternoon to try to disperse a demonstration in Hong Kong as protesters took over streets in two parts of the Asian financial capital. (AP Photo/Kin Cheung)
TOPSHOT – Protesters run after police fired tear gas during a rally against a controversial extradition law proposal outside the government headquarters in Hong Kong on June 12, 2019. – Violent clashes broke out in Hong Kong on June 12 as police tried to stop protesters storming the city’s parliament, while tens of thousands of people blocked key arteries in a show of strength against government plans to allow extraditions to China. (Photo by Philip FONG / AFP)PHILIP FONG/AFP/Getty Images
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