The Calm Before the Storm
Wong Hin Yan lies calmly at the HSBC HQ, just before being forcibly removed by bailiffs and police.
(This photo essay is on .
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It was on the front page of Demotix.com on 11-13 September 2012.)
11 months after 'Occupy Central' started taking over the plaza beneath the Norman Foster-designed HSBC
headquarters in Hong Kong, the longest running 'occupy' action in the world came to an end with three
In London, police removed protesters on June 14, while U.S. demonstrations were subdued last November.
Most other 'occupy' groups had been dispersed.
The High Court last month ordered the activists to vacate the site by August 27. But the protesters defied
the court order. HSBC then got a writ of possession from the court.
The bailiffs and over 100 police came at 10 am. They removed tents, sofas, tables, miscellaneous items and
forcibly carried away the two dozen activists, one by one, with confrontation and physical jostling.
At 4:38 pm, Wong Hin Yan, a musician and a core member, was the last activist to be removed. Thus ended the
332 days of occupation.
On September 17, 2011, protesters at 'Occupy Wall Street' raised the banner -- 'We are the 99%' and decried
the social injustice resulted from capitalism. It spread like wildfire across the entire United States.
October 15, 2011. The start of the unprecedented global revolution. Over 2,700 cities from 90 countries across
the world responded to the call to action and the torches of protest swept to Hong Kong where thousands gathered
at Exchange Square, home of Hong Kong's Stock Exchange.
At the end of the day, the protesters moved from the private property to the public space under the HSBC building
where they camped. At the peak, over 200 activists were involved.
Nin Chan, one of the core activists who stayed until the end, concluded on his
"what was occupy central, when it comes down to it? a group of people who were drawn together by a sense that
the world needed to change, and realized how much such a change would require from ourselves, as much as everyone
whom we come into contact with...
a group of people who had to learn how to wait, to realize that, however distant our dreams are, opening a path
upon which we can all walk together...
goodbye, central. and thank you to everybody who has ever believed in us, in the infinitesimal but invincible
possibility that we can have done with this senseless order, that we no longer need to be humiliated, that we
can live in a world where we can help each other to assume our full stature."
Wong Hin Yan, the last Occupy Central activist is removed by force by bailiffs.
The core group of 'Occupy Central' activists surrounded by the police and bailiffs at HSBC HQ
before they were removed one by one.
A single sandal and a hat are all that remain at the grounds of HSBC HQ in the Central business
district of Hong Kong, five minutes after being cleared of 'Occupy Central' activists by the police.
Grounds of HSBC HQ in the Central business district of Hong Kong, five minutes after being
cleared of 'Occupy Central' activists by the police for the first time since October 15, 2011.
Police surround the HSBC HQ in the Central business district of Hong Kong after being cleared of 'Occupy Central' activists for the first time since October 15, 2011.
Tam Mei-Kam, late-Canto-pop diva Anita Mui's mother, who is suing HSBC on estate irregularities, ponders her next move, after the 'Occupy Central' activists were removed. Her son was one of the activists arrested before.
(This photo essay is on .
Click thru for details
and was on the front page of Demotix.com on 11-13 September 2012.
Click thru for details)
© p h yang 2012 - all rights reserved