Around 150 Security guards hired by Henderson Land Development Limited moved in to clear a plot of land once again at a community farm at Ma Shi Po in Fanling on Thursday. Henderson said in a press release that it would erect hoardings and fence off the area.

An injunction allowing Henderson Land to take action to repossess the 5,500 square foot parcel of land, part of Mapopo Community Farm, was approved by the High Court on May 23.

Photo: Pat Heung Chu Hoi-dick via Facebook.

At around 12pm, protesters entered into the fenced area and attempted to climb into a wooden fort that they previously built. Security guards called the police and a commotion broke out. Security guards previously attempted to take apart the fort on May 26.

More guards, as well as construction workers, arrived at around 1pm, bringing with them materials to build a fence around the area. They also began to remove wooden boards from the land.

By 3pm, according to Chu Hoi-dick, “[workers] have started up the excavator and the bulldozer, and are forcibly bulldozing away trees and going into the farm to destroy the land; the security guards are ready to move people.”

Workers also began to put up metal boards by 3:20pm, according to a New Territories activist group.

It is unclear if further action is planned by either side for the day. Although Henderson Land owns the land, protesters and villagers have said repeatedly that they want to protect the farm from development because farmland should be used for farming, not development.

Protest at Henderson Land meeting

There was also a protest outside the Four Seasons hotel on Thursday morning, the venue for Henderson Land’s annual general meeting.

Guards linking up on Ma Shi Po farmland.

Protesters said that vacant land should be taxed to prevent land hoarding and asked Henderson Land to stop trying to take back the farmland at Ma Shi Po.

Henderson said in its press release that “the Company has once again commissioned a professional team of security staff to protect the site workers and perform crowd control.” It added that “if anyone continues to stay inside the injunction area, or attempts to charge at the security staff or obstruct the site workers, thereby violating the injunction order, the Company will report their actions to the Police and they may be convicted of Contempt of Court.”

Chantal Yuen

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.