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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:

曾參與早段佔領行動的左翼廿一成員覃俊基認為,行動與他自己的期望有落差,運動方向偏重於自治社區的實驗,未能清楚向公眾說明自治社區運動與反對資本主義的關係。周思中則認為佔領行動之所以位於匯豐總行地下,正因其位於金融、政治的要地,這是佔領中環所代表的象徵性意義。曾參與保衛皇后碼頭行動的他認為「清場」才是佔領行動的核心,透過清場才能更加突顯行動的對抗性及象徵意義。土地正義聯盟成員可樂認為,佔領行動可以遍地開花例如在新界東北進行佔屋運動,對抗地產商囤積土地。

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:

「哎吔,該煨囉……係佔領中環搭上左」

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

一個睡在地上,一個睡在帳幕,一個睡在沙發上。沒有佔領中環,他們的習慣都應該沒有分別,就是不會認識對方。

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.

女性主義者?

Feminist?

本想找個地方在中午和下班休息,點知成為習慣,每天都會過來聊天。

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.

兆基抗議書院有老有嫩

Old and young from protest college

在吃人兼殘殺動物的社會裡,我們還有選擇。

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

在髮端嘴唇間交換張狂

Exchanging craziness between lips and hairs

我們仨各自建立關係。三人一起只有一次經驗,那時我們去醫院探他,為了讓他可以抽煙,就一起騙護士帶他外出。

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.

我們在10月16日一起來,就再沒有走過

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.

男人的情誼從一隻錶開始

The friendship between these two men begins with a watch.

凌晨三點五點,我們離開中環,問號伴隨著我們緩慢的步伐,被帶到街上車中家內。

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.

魚樂無窮:有一個晚上,他告訴我在世界各地釣魚的經歷,所以,我們要一起釣魚去。

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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