Seven protesters against the illegal dumping of waste near Kingswood Villas in Tin Shui Wai were arrested, along with a lawmaker who went there to show his support for them.
More than 10 members of the Hong Kong activist group Land Justice League protested against the “waste dump hill” Sunday morning, Apple Daily reported.
They climbed on the “hill” with banners saying “The government has the responsibility to severely punish waste dumping” and “Shame on waste dumping”.
The activists brought numerous nylon bags to the site, planning to transport some of the dumped waste to the Central Government Offices in Admiralty.
“There is no waste dump in sight in Admiralty; that’s why the government can’t see it,” league member Chu Hoi-dick said.
“We are now taking the waste dump to Admiralty to tell the government, tell [Secretary for Development] Paul Chan Mo-po and [Secretary for the Environment] Wong Kam-sing, that they’ve done nothing all these years”.
Illegal dumping is forbidden by law, but the Planning Department does not execute the law, Chu said.
Nearly 50 police arrived on the scene and warn the protesters they might be violating the Theft Ordinance if they removed dumped waste from the site.
Labour Party legislator Lee Cheuk-yan went to the scene to show his support for the protesters.
However, the police refused to let him onto the site, saying it is private property and he has no right to trespass.
Police pushed Lee off the property, reports said.
Lee was arrested for disorderly conduct in a public place, police saying he was being too noisy.
Chu and five fellow protesters were arrested on suspicion of theft.
A protester surnamed Tse who didn’t enter the site was arrested for failing to produce identification documents.
Civic Party lawmaker Kwok Ka-ki later went to Yuen Long Police Station to show his support for the protesters, saying all the arrests were groundless.
Seven of the arrestees refused bail but were released anyway at around 6 p.m. Police stressed they retain the right to prosecute them in future.
“It’s obvious that it is just construction waste. The police cannot prove the dumped waste belongs to the landowner,” Lee said as he left the police station, news website hk01.com reported.
He said it was ridiculous that the police didn’t arrest the people who dumped the waste but the protesters instead.
Meanwhile, Chu said the demand by the police to search the homes of some protesters without a warrant is unacceptable, and it is not reasonable to treat them like habitual criminals.
Chu said the protesters were not able to transport the dumped waste to the government offices in Admiralty, but if the government still does not respond by punishing the landowner, the Land Justice League may escalate its action in future.
Tin Shui Wai dumpsite raises fears of massive landslide (March 7, 2016)
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