EIGHT activists, including a lawmaker, were released late on 20 March despite refusing to pay bail, after being held for nine hours for trying to collect bags of soil and rubbish from what they said is an illegal and dangerous soil dump in Tin Shui Wai.
Six were arrested for suspected theft while Labour Party (工黨) legislator Lee Cheuk-yan (李卓人)was held for disorderly conduct. Lantau Concern Group’s (守護大嶼聯盟) Tse Sai-kit (謝世傑) was detained for failing to produce an identity document.
The dump, the size of two football pitches and four storeys high, has accumulated near residential Kingswood Villas (嘉湖山莊) and the Wetland Park (濕地公園).
The government had ordered the landowner to begin urgent shotcreting work by the middle of the month to ensure safety, but nothing has been done yet.
At least 40 activists from the Land Justice League (土地正義聯盟) marched to the dump in a “dirt for dirt” action in which they would take the bags of soil and rubbish to the Central Government Offices (政府總部).
They were warned by police that the soil is private property and should not be taken.
Following the incident, Secretary for Development (發展局局長) Paul Chan Mo-po (陳茂波) said the government is in discussion with the landowner.
It takes time to collect evidence, Chan said.
The person in charge of the land called police at around 8am.
Before he was arrested, Lee told police: “We are carrying out environmental protection activity. What is the problem?”
Lee lay on the ground after the police commander ordered his arrest. He was then carried to a police vehicle and handcuffed.
(This article is published on Sing Tao Daily on 28 March 2016).
Landowners urged to act on soil dump
Land Justice League