Hong Kong workers and students join strike in anti-government protest movement

Gas masks, goggles and hard hats were part of students’ uniforms Monday as they headed back to school in Hong Kong, holding signs showing their support Hong Kong’s anti-government protests.

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Some students boycotted class entirely, wearing all black and joining hands to show solidarity with those who have fought for independence from mainland China.

The demonstrations, at times turning violent, have now lasted for nearly three months. People taking to the streets have asked for democracy and an independent investigation into police conduct throughout the protests.

Their demands include dropping charges against arrested demonstrators, and withdrawing an extradition bill that allows mainland China to bring Hong Kong residents to stand trial. People living on the island see the bill as an overreach on their autonomy since the former British colony was returned to China in 1997.

Morning commutes were blocked by protesters as they tried to stop people from boarding the trains at multiple stations.

A handful of arrests were made Monday, along with reports police used batons against some of the demonstrators.

Officials denied accusations they “beat up” citizens without checking their identities, instead specifying they only engaged with rioters.

Train service to the airport Sunday was suspended after protesters moved in to disrupt travelers, some who were forced to walk to the airport to catch their planes.

Video showed medical workers lining the hallways of the Queen Mary Hospital Monday, showing support for pro-democracy protesers.

Both protesters and police have been increasingly engaging in recent weeks, as rioters threw gas bombs and rods at police. Officers have been responding with tear gas, rubber bullets and batons to subdue the violence.

Information from the Associated Press contributed to this report.