300 in Central sit-in

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 18 October, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 18 October, 2011, 12:00am
 

As many as 300 people gathered in Hong Kong's Exchange Square on Saturday to echo anti-capitalism messages of the Occupy Wall Street movement in New York.

The crowd at 'Occupy Central' later dropped to 50 people, and they moved to nearby HSBC headquarters, where some of the people spent the night.

Representatives said the occupation would last for about a week, with 20 protesters taking shifts every night.

The group said it wanted to stay on until at least yesterday morning when people in the financial district returned to work.

Protesters carried banners reading 'Don't sell my future' and 'Corporation corrupting with government, enemy of people'.

The campaign in Exchange Square on Saturday included a protester in a mask and members of the League of Social Democrats and People Power climbing onto a statue of a bull, shouting, 'Defeat the financial dominance'.

More than 10 groups, including Left21 and underground radio station FM101, joined the protest.

Groups such as People Power also called for universal suffrage in Hong Kong and an end to the Mandatory Provident Fund for retirement.

No one was arrested, although police were on alert. An HSBC spokesman said on Sunday that the bank was communicating with the police. But he did not say whether the bank had asked that the area be cleared by yesterday.

The anti-capitalism movement began in New York on September 17 when a group camped near Wall Street to express their frustration about the widening income gap.

The campaign quickly spread to other American cities and then abroad.

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