Hong Kong airport grounds all flights as protest paralyzes hub: Live updates

The airport walls are plastered with posters, art, and graffiti.
The airport walls are plastered with posters, art, and graffiti. Ben Westcott/CNN

Hong Kong’s airport, now largely empty of protesters hours after hundreds of flights were cancelled, is plastered with posters, flyers, and drawings — examples of the widely-disseminated protest art that informs, inspires and, at times, offers light relief.

The political art has taken on a distinct style, from design to distribution. Banners are not just plastered onto main roads — they are sent directly to residents via Bluetooth and Wi-Fi almost immediately after they are created.

The graphics serve multiple purposes; some advertise upcoming protest marches, others contain subversive criticism of the authorities and many encourage unity and stamina.

“Be water”: A key theme of protesters’ posters is the ability to “be water,” a phrase inspired by martial arts icon Bruce Lee that encourages fluidity and adaptability to any situation. This is in stark contrast to the 2014 protests, which remained in one area of the city as protesters set up camp against the authorities.

“An eye for an eye”: A newly emerging poster theme depicts a woman with an eye missing, a reference to an injury suffered during Sunday night’s clashes with police. Many protesters at the airport on Monday also wore eyepatches in reference to the woman’s injury.

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