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Bank wins court order to evict Occupy Hong Kong activists

A court says a dozen or so protestors who have been in a public area under HSBC’s headquarters must be moved on.

Occupy Hong Kong protestors serve snacks while sheltering under a canopy at HSBC's headquarters in the city.
Occupy Hong Kong protestors serve snacks while sheltering under a canopy at HSBC's headquarters in the city.
Image: Kin Cheung/AP

A MAJOR BANK has won a court order to evacuate Occupy Hong Kong protestors from a public space beneath its headquarters in the city.

A judge ruled that the activists need to clear out of the area, which is sheltered by the HSBC headquarters, in the next two weeks.

Activists have been living under the headquarters since October 15, when protestors founded a camp during a worldwide day of co-ordinated protests against what opponents see as economic inequality and a society that favours the pursuit of wealth.

About a dozen Occupy activists are still living in the large open space on the ground floor of the Norman Foster-designed HSBC building, one of Hong Kong’s most recognisable landmarks.

Local news reports said up to 200 protestors had lived in the camp at the height of the movement’s popularity – but the protest has outlasted many other Occupy encampments around the world, including those in Ireland, that have been shut down by authorities.

Members have vowed not to budge.

“We’ve never asked for permission from the law, we’ve never asked for permission from the courts, we’ve never asked for permission from HSBC,” said Nin Chan, one of the Occupy activists.

“From the very beginning we’ve never recognized these authorities as legitimate.”

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

“We welcome the court ruling, and we look forward to the occupiers following the court order,” said HSBC spokesman Gareth Hewett.

Additional reporting by AP

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Gavan Reilly

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