Community & Education Hong Kong Law & Crime

Activists surrounded then arrested during protest against market outsourcing and rent hikes

Land Justice League activist Chu Hoi-dick, along with four other league members were arrested on Sunday outside a mall in Tung Chung. They were holding a bazaar at Yat Tung estate, Tung Chung in protest of Link Real Estate Investment Trust’s (Link REIT) outsourcing of market management and rent rises. Chu and three others were arrested for obstructing police, while one was arrested for inciting public disorder.

It was the third bazaar protest event related to the outsourcing of Yat Tung estate’s market to Uni-China (Market) Management Limited. Rents and food prices rose after renovation work, forcing some stallholders to leave.

Police and housing authority representatives encircled Chu and took him away during the demonstration. The four other activists were arrested soon after. A member of Land Justice League, Bun Zai, told Apple Daily that he estimated that more than 60 police officers were on the scene. The activists were detained for five hours before being unconditionally released at around 11pm.

Police and Housing Authority representatives encircling protesters

Police and Housing Authority representatives encircling protesters. Photo: InMedia HK.

“The first time we were bothered by Uni-China, the second time by the housing authority, and the third time we were even arrested by the police. There is nothing more that can show the ridiculousness of Link REIT’s monopoly. We will continue to try to achieve our goals with Yat Tung residents and hope that more residents will come out to save themselves,” said Chu.

Last Sunday’s bazaar protest led to a small scuffle breaking out between participants and a representative from the Housing Authority.

arrested activists

Activists released. The banner says “Don’t depend on Link REIT, create your own bazaar.” Photo: Chu Hoi-dick via Facebook.

Link REIT has been involved in controversies over market management outsourcing and carpark rents this year. Protests were held at Link’s headquarters in Kwun Tong in late April as well as in early May against rents and outsourcing. At one of the outsourced markets, stallholders at Cheung Fat Market were told to move out for renovation works in March after protesting against potential rent hikes in February.

Activists surrounded then arrested during protest against market outsourcing and rent hikes