HSBC can evict HK Occupy activists, court rules

AP News
Posted: Aug 13, 2012 1:00 AM
HSBC can evict HK Occupy activists, court rules

HONG KONG (AP) — Hong Kong's Occupy movement needs to find a new home.

HSBC won a legal motion on Monday to clear out anti-capitalist protesters from a public space below the bank's headquarters in the southern Chinese financial center.

A judge ruled that the activists must leave by 9 p.m. on August 27. About a dozen Occupy activists live in the large open space on the ground floor of the striking, Norman Foster-designed building, one of Hong Kong's most recognizable landmarks.

Local news reports said their numbers have dwindled from more than 200 at the height of the movement, which began in October on Wall Street and spread internationally.

The activists are protesting against widening inequality and other forms of economic injustice. They have made themselves at home by setting up tents, tables, sofas and chairs, bookcases, lamps and gas cookers at the camp.

While HSBC owns the land, it's legally designated as a public passageway. The judge ruled that the activists' use of the space goes beyond the land's designated use.

Mui Kai-ming, one of four defendants named in HSBC's lawsuit, said he would "absolutely" not leave. Other activists plan to hold a meeting to decide whether to stay or leave, Cable TV reported.