Security guards began making notes on the furniture at the Occupy Central site beneath HSBC headquarters yesterday afternoon, a hint that an attempt to evict the handful of protesters still defying a court order to leave could come soon.
Guards listed tents, sofas and tables a day after HSBC helped three protesters - who chose to comply with the court order to leave the site by 9pm on Monday - remove their possessions. The bank has received a notice of possession from the High Court, and the exact time of the eviction will be decided after discussions with the court bailiff.
The three guards took item-by-item notes and asked protesters to leave their contact details if they were the owners of the sofas, tables, tents and shelves.
But the participants replied by saying all items at the site belonged to Occupy Central. "If you take our things away, you are responsible for telling us where they will be sent to," one said. "It shouldn't be us who give you the details."
Another camp appeared to be taking shape at a pier in Central, where tents and bookshelves had been set up. Photographs and other belongings of Ho Yiu-shing, one of the five defendants in HSBC's legal action to evict Occupy Central, were found there, but no one was there when the South China Morning Post visited in the afternoon.
Ho was one of three protesters who agreed to leave the Occupy Central site after the court-imposed deadline. Protesters still at the HSBC camp said the new site had nothing to do with them.
The anti-bank campaign started in October, inspired by the Occupy Wall Street movement in New York.
Participants have refused to comment to the media recently, unhappy about their "lengthy and heartfelt exchanges" being reduced to "a series of sound bites, stripped of any substantial content".