Occupy Central protesters were leaving the ground floor of HSBC’s headquarters before the deadline of an eviction order expires later on Monday, but some vowed to stay beyond.
The activists – who have been occupying the space since last October – have to leave the communal walk-through area by 9pm under a High Court order issued two weeks ago.
Some were seen packing up their tents, chairs and other belongings. One of them, Sumer Ho Yiu-sing, said he would obey the court order and leave.
“I respect the court’s order and the government’s wishes,” he said. Ho said he would move his camp across the road to the space outside the former Legislative Council.
“It is the spirit that matters in a movement. Seeping here [beyond the deadline] doesn’t make you a hero,” he said.
However, about 20 tents and some furniture still remained there on Monday afternoon.
Protesters vowing to stay beyond the deadline were planning to stage a concert at 7pm. They said they were prepared for a clash when police came in to enforce eviction. But they said they would not put up resistance.
HSBC said it hoped the protesters would respect the court order and leave before the deadline expired. But it did not say what it would do to those who would stay.
The court granted an application by HSBC and ruled on August 13 that the protesters, who had been inspired by last year’s Occupy Wall Street movement in the United States, had no legal basis to occupy the site. It gave the activists two weeks to leave.