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Hong Kong court issues Occupy injunctions

2014-10-21 08:54 Global Times Web Editor: Qian Ruisha

The High Court of Hong Kong ordered temporary injunctions on Monday evening, prohibiting protesters from occupying several streets in the city.

The High Court issued the first injunction to bar protesters from continuing to occupy Mong Kok, one of the three protest areas of the Occupy movement, after receiving three applications from Lai Hoi-ping, the chairman of the Hong Kong Kowloon Taxi & Lorry Owners Association, as well as Tam Chun-hung, a member of the Taxi Drivers and Operators Association, and a representative from a minibus union company.

The injunction banned protesters from continuing to occupy Argyle Street, Dundas Street, Tung Choi Street and the junction of Portland Street of Mong Kok district. Nobody is allowed to set up tents or any barricades that block the roads.

High court judge Poon Shiu-chor said the Occupy protest has already caused a nuisance to the public and has seriously affected the taxi industry. Therefore, in order to balance the interests of society, a temporary injunction had to be ordered.

The injunction immediately became effective and will last until 10 am on Friday.

Hong Kong police spokesperson Hui Chun-tak said Monday that the police are very concerned about the situation in Mong Kok, warning that the illegal gathering there is "on the verge of becoming riots," the China News Service reported.

Hui also condemned some protesters who brought their children to the protest sites.

The second injunction came later on Monday evening, banning protesters from occupying the area between Tim Mei Avenue and Lung Wui Road. The application was filed by proprietors of the CITIC Tower, who complained that blocked roads have affected the operations of emergency vehicles and threatened their safety.

Despite the injunctions, protesters at Mong Kok said they will not withdraw.

The Hong Kong Federation of Students, which has been acting as a voice of the protesters throughout the movement, released a statement on Monday night saying that they "respect the decision made by the High Court but will not withdraw from Mong Kok district voluntarily."

The student federation also said they understand that the movement has seriously affected the livelihoods of many local residents. But they said they believe this is a method which can put pressure on the government.

A protester from the movement told the Global Times that he will not take the injunction seriously. "The occupying protest is an illegal act already, so I do not think other protesters will fear breaking one more law."

"We can always occupy other roads in the same district. I do not think the High Court will really stop us from occupying the area," he added.

The injunctions come at a time when the Hong Kong society has shown growing impatience toward the protests, which have paralyzed parts of the city.

Leticia Lee See-yin, the co-founder of the anti-Occupy group, Blue Ribbon Movement, told the Global Times that the protest in Mong Kok has been affecting many local residents' livelihoods.

"I have been receiving many complaints from the residents here every day. The residents told me they are annoyed about the protesters," she said on Monday.

A taxi driver lodged a complaint on Monday against the founders of the Occupy movement, Benny Tai Yiu-ting, Chan Kin-man and the leader of the pan-democracy group Scholarism, Joshua Wong Chi-fung, for calling protesters to paralyze the main roads. He has demanded compensation of HK$12,000 ($1,547).

Student representatives and senior city government officials are scheduled to hold talks over the current deadlock on Tuesday evening.

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