Date
18 December 2017
Police plan to clear protesters' tents from the streets in Admiralty on Thursday morning. Photo: Bloomberg
Police plan to clear protesters' tents from the streets in Admiralty on Thursday morning. Photo: Bloomberg

Avoid protest sites Thursday, police urge public

Police announced they will begin clearing the Occupy protest site in Admiralty at 9 a.m. Thursday, excluding the demonstration zone beside the legislature, RTHK reported.

Clearing operations may include the protest site in Causeway, depending on the situation, police said in a statement Tuesday.

Police will help about 30 bailiffs clear parts of Connaught Road Central, Cotton Tree Drive and Harcourt Road under a court order issued on Monday. 

Notice of the injunction was posted in seven places in the area and published in newspapers Tuesday.

Police expect the operation to end within two hours if things go smoothly.

They called for the protesters to leave voluntarily.

Police also urged citizens not to be instigated by others to go to the site. If there are clashes with or attacks on officers, police said, they will take actions including dispersal or arrest.

Scholarism and the Hong Kong Federation of Students, the two student groups that have been spearheading the protests, and pan-democratic legislators called for citizens who had been taking part in the Occupy movement to return to the site Thursday and engage in non-violent disobedience without resisting arrest.

The administration told all the employees at the government headquarters in the area to stay home Thursday. All scheduled appointments for the day will either be canceled or postponed.

Cheung Tak-keung, assistant commissioner of police (operations), said blockades in the area covered by the court injunction will be removed.

Anyone who refuses to leave may face minimum force from the police, he said.

Cheung said police may also deal with the Occupy site in Causeway Bay later the same day if they consider it appropriate to do so.

Asked about the plan by some protesters at Admiralty to retreat to the nearby Tamar Park for the time being and return to the Occupy site when things calm down, Cheung did not say how the police would respond.

But he said the police will take action if requested to do so by the Leisure and Cultural Services Department, which manages the park.

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TL/JP/FL

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