Occupy Central

Hong Kong protesters will be arrested if they have not left Admiralty Occupy site by 11am

Police set deadline of 11am for protesters to leave camp in Central, promising to move in on site afterwards and arrest any hold-outs

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 10 December, 2014, 11:54am
UPDATED : Thursday, 11 December, 2014, 7:21am

In an all-out clearance of the Occupy Central base camp in Admiralty today, police will sweep in from both ends of the site and arrest anyone who refuses to leave after 11am.

Officers will also record the personal details of people who leave voluntarily after that time.

Chief Secretary Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor said the student leaders' invitation yesterday for protesters to return to Admiralty was "most undesirable".

"Knowing there are some radical elements among the protesters, confrontation might become inevitable," Lam said.

She added that she was "not so naive" as to think the clearance would put an end to the turmoil.

The uncompromising measures were revealed last night as thousands gathered in expectation of a dramatic end to the sit-ins that have been dubbed the "umbrella movement".

Leaders of Scholarism and the Federation of Students appealed to supporters to stay overnight and rally peacefully this morning.

Today at 9am, court bailiffs will enforce an injunction sought by a bus company that covers just a fifth of the camp.

But police will cordon off the entire site at 11am - from the area near the Academy for Performing Arts to Connaught Road Central next to the Hong Kong Club, a police source said. That gives protesters two hours to react, during which time police will issue multiple warnings.

The force aims to resume normal traffic flow today, the source said. "[We] would not rule out the use of any equipment the force has at its disposal," but tear gas would not be fired "if it was unnecessary", he said.

Earlier, police sources had said 7,000 officers would be deployed in two shifts today. Police will not disperse people who retreat to Tamar Park unless asked to by the Leisure and Cultural Services Department.

Police stations will be mobilised for mass detentions of up to two days.

Last night, the fighting spirit at Admiralty heightened with protesters chanting slogans and speakers on stage talking about how to sustain the movement.

Niki Cheung Sze-man, 28, said she would leave before the cordon lines went up. "We should conserve our energy for a long-term fight, so I do not want to be arrested or have my identity card number taken down."

The federation's secretary general, Alex Chow Yong-kang, said student protesters were prepared to be arrested. "We will choose to stay till the very end, as our refusal to give in to a government who would not heed the people's call."

Scholarism convenor Joshua Wong Chi-fung said he would not defy the police action this time, as he had been arrested before.

Students and about 20 pan-democrats will sit at the junction of Tim Wa Avenue and Harcourt Road, near the People's Liberation Army headquarters.

Monitoring the clearance for any excessive use of force will be the Independent Police Complaints Council, along with 50 professors.

Meanwhile, League of Social Democrats vice chairman Raphael Wong Ho-ming was arrested for unlawful assembly on his way to the Admiralty site at about 11pm last night. He was detained at Sha Tin police station.

Samuel Chan, Phila Siu, Jennifer Ngo, Joyce Ng and Peter So