Date
20 September 2017
Police may launch an early-morning clear-out of Occupy Central protesters as happened during an overnight vigil following the July 1 democracy march. Photo: HKEJ
Police may launch an early-morning clear-out of Occupy Central protesters as happened during an overnight vigil following the July 1 democracy march. Photo: HKEJ

Police eye immediate Occupy Central clear-out

Hong Kong police may move on Occupy Central protesters on Oct. 1, the first day of a mass sit-in, if large numbers turn out, government broadcaster RTHK reported Friday.

The plan emerged as police officials worried that there would not be enough time to clear Central before it reopens for business on Oct. 3 after a two-day national day holiday.

Occupy Central organizers are planning a shutdown of the main business and financial district on Oct. 1 and 2.

The police were leaning toward an Oct. 3 clear-out but they may move earlier, depending on the size of the protest, the report said, citing unnamed sources.

Also, they have prepared the Hong Kong Police College in Wong Chuk Hang to house up to 3,000 detainees.

Also being tapped are the Wanchai Police Station and North Point Police Station which can hold 900 people between them.

Meanwhile, Occupy Central organizers said they have yet to obtain a police permit to assemble in Chater Road, a key artery in the protest venue.

Occupy Central co-founder Benny said the movement will last two days and public obstruction will be “tolerable”.

“This will not paralyze Central, much less the whole city,” he said.

Tai said the sit-in protest is the “last mile in a marathon race” but vowed the fight for genuine democracy will continue.

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JZ/JP/RA

Freelance journalist

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