BREAKING: Siege of Tim Mei

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The villagers of Tim Mei, a majority of them that have been there since September last year, leave the area but vow to come back to fight for genuine universal suffrage.

(Read Chinese translation: 政改之後,添美垓下)

This morning, Tim Mei Village was, defying many’s expectation, quiet. Some tents and items were left abandoned. A few villagers remained, packing up their personal necessities as quick as possible before the Lands Department’s “land control action” begins—that is to clear the area.

Villagers have been gradually departing from the village after the political reform package was vetoed last Thursday June 18. Some left because they believed that their goal had been achieved, others just wanted to go home and take a break for a couple days.

The police had cordoned off the area early in the morning in preparation for the clear-up. At around 9am, the police enhanced the blockade by placing steel barricades perpendicular to Civic Square, running a “Berlin Wall” that divides the village into two, so to make it easier for Lands Department to take action. The area was closed off to the public, including the villagers. Only the press were allowed in.

Most villagers withdrew from the blockaded area after the Lands Department’s warning had been issued at 9am. The Department declared that the operation would begin an hour from the warning was issued, and items collected at the site would not be returned.

At around 10:30am, the Lands Department restated the warning. The officials organised themselves into teams of four. They made markings on all the vacated tents and canopies in the village with red spray paint, followed by photographing and giving serial numbers to the items. The actual clear-up began only after the marking and photographing work was done.

Most tents had been vacated before the Lands Department arrived, but for one canopy next to the protesting area, a villager stayed there until the officials came. He spoke angrily to the press, “What is happening to the Tim Mei villagers is unfair.” The Department continued with their work nonetheless, unfazed at the outburst of the man.

Villagers usually appear to be persistent and courageous, but worries about their families being harassed by the regime and pro-regime parties do exist. One villager told HT that a prominent local TV broadcast enquired the status of their families ahead of the clear-up. According to the villager, the reporters seemed to be quite well informed of their private life.

As the clearing continues around LegCo, the ultimate problem remains unresolved: the implementation of “democracy” in Hong Kong. Some villagers stressed that they will return to Tim Mei to fight for the democracy they believe Hong Kong people deserve.


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Xaviera Artaza
Intern Journalist at Harbour Times

Xaviera attends West Island School, class of 2017. She is the daughter of Mario Ignacio Artaza, who was also a journalist before becoming a diplomat for Chile. She is aspiring to become a professional journalist.”]