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Tuesday, November 18, 2014, 14:00

Barricades removed in Admiralty

By & Agencies

 Barricades removed in Admiralty
Security staff members remove a barricade outside the Citic tower near a protest site in the Admiralty district of Hong Kong on Nov 18, 2014. (Parker Zheng / China Daily)

HONG KONG - Hong Kong authorities on Tuesday cleared part of a key area of the heart of the city that has been occupied by illegal "Occupy" demonstrators for nearly two months.

The High Court had granted an injunction against the illegal sit-in on October 20.

About 30 court bailiffs arrived at the 33-storey CITIC Tower in Admiralty, next to government buildings, to enforce an injunction against the street barricades after a request from the building's owners. Barricades outside CITIC Tower were cleared by Tuesday noon without incident.

About 10 “Occupy Central” protesters used pliers to cut through cables that tied the barricades together and peacefully retreated. Authorities stood by as workers used cutters to remove barricades. Police and said the building's owners had hired workers to carry out the clearance.

Some protesters packed up pillows, blankets and other belongings from inside their tents and prepared to move to another part of the demonstration zone.

The area near CITIC Tower, headquarters of CITIC Pacific Ltd., has been surrounded by metal barricades for weeks, blocking parts of the street and disrupting commuters heading to the Central business district next door.

The High Court granted interim injunctions against illegal occupations outside the Citic Tower at Admiralty and various locations in Mong Kok in late October. As the injunctions were extended a week ago, the court gave explicit instructions about the role of police.

On Monday, the police said in a statement they were ready to “give full support” to the bailiffs to execute the court order. This was after an exchange with the bailiffs and CITIC Tower co-owners — who moved the plea.

The police emphasized that any act amounting to obstruction might make a person liable to criminal contempt of court. Police officers will take “resolute action” against anyone who obstructs or violently defies execution of the order.

Both Lung Wui Road and Tim Mei Avenue outside CITIC Tower was barricaded for nearly two months, obstructing pavements and the carpark entrance of the Tower.

Road sections in Mong Kok are still barricaded though the Court of Appeal on Sunday rejected protesters’ appeal against the High Court’s injunction on sit-ins in the bustling district.

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