Scholarism's Eddie Ng quits hunger strike while police plans clearing of Admiralty

By staff writer
By staff writer |

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Last night, Scholarism member Eddie Ng Man-hin ended his hunger strike after nearly 120 hours. Gloria Cheng Yik-lam, who also joined last Wednesday, is the only remaining hunger striker, demanding dialogue with government officials.

Separately, clearance of the biggest Occupy camp in Admiralty is likely to take place on Thursday, according to police sources.

Over 3,000 police officers could be deployed to clear the camp in Admiralty and the protest zone in Causeway Bay on the same day this week.

Details of the operation will be finalised after a meeting with a plaintiff and bailiffs today, one police source said yesterday.

Scholarism's convenor Joshua Wong Chi-fung said the student group would arrange for secondary school students and elderly people to leave the Admiralty site for their safety if police started clearing the area.

Wong said the group had no plans to clash with police, and urged protesters not to throw any objects at officers or attack them. But he suggested protesters bring home-made shields to protect themselves from batons.

"Police will clear the entire [Admiralty] site, including areas that are not covered in the injunction order," the police source said. "We aim to clear all occupied roads and reopen traffic."

It is likely that police will hold a press conference this afternoon to appeal to activists to leave the protest zones. "Police will then give protesters some time to pack their belongings and leave the sites before officers move in," the source said.

He added that police would also clear the Causeway Bay site on the same day, if possible. Police recently estimated that the number of protesters remaining in Causeway Bay was less than 50.

It is understood police will deploy more than 1,000 officers to clear the Admiralty camp and another 2,000 officers will be on standby.

Another police source said that after the clearance operations, officers will be stationed at both locations to prevent any attempt to reoccupy the areas. Currently, more than 1,000 officers are deployed to Mong Kok each night to block protesters from reoccupying the former Mong Kok protest site that was cleared last month.

Lawmaker Paul Tse Wai-chun, solicitor for Kwoon Chung Bus Holdings subsidiary All China Express, said his client, who got a sealed order from the court yesterday, would hold a meeting with bailiffs today to discuss further actions and may post the order at the injunction area.

The injunction covers the occupied Connaught Road Central, Harcourt Road and Cotton Tree Drive, which is roughly one-fifth of the protest area in Admiralty