After a day of war with riot police inside Hong Kong airport, the protesters on Thursday came up with apologies in view of winning back the international support. Widespread criticism had been raised against demonstrators for causing massive travel disruption.
They greeted travelers with various banners expressing apology. "Sorry about what happened yesterday," one of the banners read. "We were desperate. Please accept our apology," another banner says.
After the Hong Kong Airport got a court injunction to clear the terminals, the calm has returned to the airport premises where a kind of lull prevailed after a war.
Still, a few demonstrators can be seen nearby areas. But they mostly engaged in the activities of greeting travellers with signs apologising for the events of the previous evening when clashes erupted between riot police and demonstrators.
The massive sit-in strike had led to the cancellations of 180 flights. As the sit-in strike continued on Tuesday, airport authorities were forced to cancel 400 flights.
In the airport mayhem, the protesters had attacked and tied up two men from mainland China. In response, the police firing pepper spray at protesters and arrested five demonstrators.
For the past 10 consecutive weeks Hong Kong witnessed protests.
China's top body in Hong Kong, the Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Office of the State Council, condemned the "horrific incident", called the culprits "thugs", and said "Hong Kong's radical violent elements have completely broken through the bottom line of the law, the bottom line of morality, and the bottom line of human nature."
Until recently, China had largely taken a backseat, censoring coverage of the protests in domestic media and not commenting publicly. But in recent weeks, Beijing has begun openly condemning the protests and allowing state media to circulate information about them.
"Using the sword of the law to stop violence and restore order is overwhelmingly the most important and urgent task for Hong Kong!" read the front page of the Communist Party-backed People's Daily on Wednesday.