The last remaining tents erected around Hong Kong’s government building complex during last year’s Occupy protests are to be cleared by the end of the month, the government has said.
Months after the main Occupy protest site on Connaught Road was cleared, around 50 tents have remained outside the legislature in what has become known as Tim Mei Village.
A government statement cited the Lands (Miscellaneous Provisions) Ordinance covering unleased land, indicating that the Lands Department can post a notice before a certain date telling occupants to leave an unleased area.
The department called on those still left on the site to clear out their belongings before Wednesday June 24, after which any items not cleared from the site will be repossessed by the government and anyone who has not vacated the occupied site will be removed.
The statement said: “Tents and other objects have been illegally occupying unleased government land on sidewalks of Tim Mei Avenue, Legislative Council Road and Harcourt Road, Admiralty, since mid-December 2014.
“The Government has repeatedly called on those on the site to remove their belongings, and has the responsibility to uphold the rights of the public to use the road and to ensure public safety, order and sanitation.”
Police cleared part of the protest site last week amid fears that fighting might break out outside the legislature as lawmakers prepared to vote on the government’s political reform package for chief executive elections.
Following the vote, in which pan-democrats blocked Beijing’s controversial electoral reform package, some protesters left the site, reports said.
The Occupy protests were triggered after the National People’s Congress ruled that all Hongkongers would be allowed to elect their chief executive only under certain conditions, principally that all the candidates standing would have to be vetted and approved by a nominating committee stacked with Beijing loyalists.
Tim Mei Avenue was at the centre of much of the drama during the Occupy protests. In September last year, students staged a week-long boycott of classes which ended with them storming Civic Square, a popular protest spot that had been closed off by the government.
Although the Admiralty protest site was officially cleared at the start of December, a small community of protesters remained on the streets.