Hong Kong: Occupy Central – Before Forced Eviction

This post is part of our special coverage #Occupy Worldwide.

Last year's Occupy Wall Street protests spread to Hong Kong and since October 15, 2011, local activists have been camping in the walkthrough plaza underneath the HSBC bank building in the Central district.

‘Occupy Central’ has lasted for more than ten months and is probably one of the longest among the worldwide occupy movements. Recently the HSBC obtained a court order to evict the occupants – activists, back-packers and homeless by a deadline of 9 pm, 27 August, 2012.

On 26 August, some activists organized an evaluation meeting on their occupation movement, Damon Wong from inmediahk.net reported [zh] from the scene:


Tam Chun-Kei, a member of Left21 who participated at the early stage of the Occupy Central action felt that there was a gap between the movement and his expectation. It has been developed into an experiment of autonomous community but the relation between the autonomous movement and anti-capitalist movement has not been delivered to a wider public. Chow Sze-chung who was active in Occupy Queen's Pier Action between 2006-2007 pointed out that the fact that the activists had occupied the financial and political heart of Hong Kong, the headquarter of HSBC is highly symbolic and the coming eviction move would further highlight the conflict. HoLok, a member of the League of Land Justice believed that the occupation movement would spread to other parts of Hong Kong, such as the northeast New Territories against property developers’ land banking behavior [Note: practice of purchasing raw land with the intent to hold on to it until it is profitable to sell it on to others].

Pak Chai, a social movement photographer, recorded the living space [zh] in the occupation area by inviting the occupants to take group photos and write their own photo captions. Images used with permission:


Ooops, this is embarrassing… we started dating each other during the Occupy Central campaign.


One sleeps on the floor, one sleeps inside the camp, one sleeps on the couch. Without Occupy Central, their habits would have remained the same, but they would not have known each other.

一張橫額,可以用來劃清界線,卻也可以用來連結彼此﹣﹣我們曾經為「反對資本主義」的 橫額用甚麼布來寫而爭論:花布?黑底白字?我們各有美學,確有差異。但,有乜緊要得過 嘗試與共存?

A banner can be used to draw a line or to connect — once we debated on the kind of cloth we should use to write the slogan”anti-capitalism: flowery cloth? black cloth with white paint? We have our own artistic judgement. The most important thing is to try living together with all our differences.




At first we just wanted to find a place to take a break during lunch and after work. Then we developed a habit of hanging around here everyday.

用國際歌平息一切糾紛。有一個晚上,兩個叔叔為了「這世界是否有人餓死」而大打出手, 我們知道其中一個叔叔喜歡唱歌,開始唱國際歌的時候,就停手了。

Use the Internationale to pacify conflict. One night, two uncles were arguing over whether there are people starving to death in this world. We knew that one of them loves singing, then we started singing the Internationale and they stopped fighting.


Old and young from protest college


We still have choice in a world where people are living by consuming each other and killing animals.


Exchanging craziness between lips and hairs


We have one experience together – two of us visited him in the hospital. We lied to the nurse to bring him out for a smoke.


We came here together on 16 of October and haven't left since.

我們輪流睡在同一個帳幕。他回來時我找其他地方睡;她睡著了,我便睡在沙發。無視蜚短 流長,我們共用帳幕。

We share the same camp spot. When he returns I find another spot to sleep. When she is asleep, he sleeps on the couch. We don't care about how others look at us, we share a camp spot.


The friendship between these two men begins with a watch.


We usually leave Central at 3am or 5am with a lot of questions following our steps to the streets, to the vehicles and back to our homes.


Happy fishing. One night he told me about his experience in fishing all around the world. That's why we have to go fishing together.

This post is part of our special coverage #Occupy Worldwide.

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