A sit-in is staged after an exit is blocked at Lowu About 200 people who have been earning a living transporting goods - some of them illegal - across the border staged a protest yesterday when they were blocked from using an exit for Lowu residents, which the traders have used for years. They started the sit-in about 2pm when they found railway staff were allowing only Lowu residents to use the staircase that provides an exit from the Kowloon-Canton Railway station without passing through the checkpoint. The protesters had been earning $200 to $300 a day from their trade, in which mainlanders in the arrival hall of the checkpoint building - who had not passed through Hong Kong immigration - would exchange goods with those on the other side. The goods included daily necessities like milk powder, biscuits, and soy sauce from Hong Kong, as well as illicit cigarettes and fresh pork, which cannot be taken across the border, from the mainland. While the cigarettes and pork are cheaper than those available in Hong Kong, the other goods are favoured on the mainland because of their quality. The Kowloon-Canton Railway Corporation, which manages the border tower facilities, said it decided to shut down the passageway after discussions with government departments, including the Immigration Department, Customs and Excise Department and police. 'The existence of the staircase was only to allow some 1,000 Hong Kong people, who are living on the Hong Kong side of the Lowu border to go home,' a KCRC spokeswoman said. 'In recent months, we have found many people are using this passage to transport goods, which may be very inconvenient to the residents, while many of them are children and elderly.' After a lengthy discussion between the protesters and the railway management, with mediation by legislator 'Long Hair' Leung Kwok-hung, the protest broke up peacefully about 9pm after the KCRC agreed to reopen the staircase last night and this morning, but it said it would discuss the issue again.