Real estate investment trust Link REIT began legal proceedings on Thursday against a group of pan-democratic lawmakers and other activists after they protested at its Kwun Tong headquarters. The company demanded that protesters to be barred from entering the grounds of their headquarters and has asked for compensation after the demonstrators caused a disturbance at Lok Fu Plaza, which they manage.

Among the accused were Democratic Party district councillors Au Nok-hin and Ted Hui Chi-fung, Labour Party district councillor Tam Chun-yin, League of Social Democrats lawmaker Leung Kwok-hung and others who participated in Tuesday’s protest against the trust’s outsourcing practices and rent hikes.

Protest at Link REIT headquarters
Tuesday’s protest. Photo: Au Nok-hin via Facebook.

Link REIT has been embroiled in controversy in recent months after it announced a plan to outsource the management of Cheung Fat Market to Uni-China (Market) Management Limited, raising fears among stall owners of dramatic rent hikes. Pan-democratic groups such as the Labour Party and the League of Social Democrats occupied the trust’s headquarters on Tuesday, demanding an end to rent increases and to the outsourcing of market operations to other companies.

See also: Feature: Paranoia and fear in the fight to save Cheung Fat Market

“I welcome being sued by Link,” Au Nok-hin said on Facebook.

link reit
Photo: Au Nok-hin via Facebook.

In a press release, Au reminded the investment trust of its promise of a meeting with the trust’s Chief Executive Officer George Hongchoy before Friday. He said that if the group does not uphold its promise, there will be “unexpected action”.

Gene Lin

Gene Lin

Gene Lin is a Journalism and Computer Science student at The University of Hong Kong. He worked as a reporter for the 'LIVE: Verified Updates' during the Occupy Central protests. He is also an editor at HKU's first English-language student paper, The Lion Post.