Henderson Land Development temporarily halted action to clear community farmland in Fanling as villagers took over an excavator and a crane in the area on Tuesday.

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Protesters managed to break into a fenced off area and hung a banner, which read: “The city and countryside should coexist, [we] oppose forcing villagers from the land,” on the excavator.

fanling farm
Photo: Cloud.

Only a small number of security guards hired by Henderson were present at the scene by Wednesday morning. The plan to take over the land has been suspended as several activists remained in the village.

fanling farm

Victor Wong Wing-cheung, a property development department manager at Henderson, said that action may be taken against protesters who trespassed onto Henderson land and who occupied the excavator and crane. He had requested that the protesters leave, but was unsuccessful. The clearance was halted to prevent injuries on both side, he said.

security guards at the farm
Security guards looking over the farmland.

Around 60 security guards were hired by Henderson to fence off the Mapopo Community Farm in Ma Shi Po village with wire on Monday morning. Police officers were also present and arrested at least four villagers and activists who tried to stop the takeover. More than 70 security guards were hired for Tuesday.

The farm said on Facebook: “we will closely monitor the activities and appearances of Henderson and the police… Please keep an eye out, tomorrow morning Henderson may come and destroy the farmland again,” the page said.

Chantal Yuen is a Hong Kong journalist interested in issues dealing with religion and immigration. She majored in German and minored in Middle Eastern studies at Princeton University.