'Occupy Central' protesters defy a court order to move

Dozens of activists play music and chant as HSBC awaits the next phase of its removal plan

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 28 August, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 28 August, 2012, 11:26am


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It was supposed to be the end of the party, but the music played on.

As the 9pm deadline to move out approached, "Occupy Central" activists turned up the volume and sang and danced in defiance of the court order telling them to vacate the open space under the HSBC headquarters.

About 50 protesters who remained on the site began a concert. They sang and jumped accompanied by guitars and drums.

"We won't go. The space should be made public," they chanted.

While most hardcore members of the movement refused to talk to the press, some individuals said they would move to the Legislative Council in Tamar, Admiralty, to continue promoting their cause.

A fire engine arrived after reports that a protester burned "hell money" - offerings for the dead.

Although the protesters showed no sign of moving on, security guards from the bank stood by without taking action. A spokeswoman for HSBC said the bank hoped the protesters would comply with the order. If not, the next step would be to get the court to issue a writ of possession, to be executed by the court bailiff.

"HSBC will work in consultation with the court bailiff to agree the timing and terms of the execution of the writ ... no eviction will take place on the plaza until the writ of possession is in place," she said.

Inspired by Occupy Wall Street in New York, protesters started Occupy Central 10 months ago as an anti-capitalist movement. They also advocated other issues, such as condemning the "hegemony" of property developers and advocating residency rights for Filipino maids.

Protest member Leung Wing-lai said they should be allowed to stay. "We have become friends with people working around the area," said Leung

Ho Yiu-shing, one of five occupiers listed as defendants in the bank's writ, said he respected the court's decision and might move to Tamar with a cart.

"If they don't allow me to stay, I will just sit there for one night," he said.