Need to get people off the streets in Hong Kong? Try the law courts.
Hong Kong civil society group Hongkongese Priority has applied for an injunction against Chiu Luen Public Light Bus Company because the latter’s drivers supposedly block up roads in Mong Kok every night by illegally parking their buses near sidewalks.
Dickson Cheung, convener of Hongkongese Priority, is confident that the injunction order will be approved because his group is using the exact same reason that Chiu Luen gave the Hong Kong high court when they sought an injunction against Umbrella Movement protesters in Mong Kok — illegal obstruction.
Hong Kong’s high court approved the injunctions, and bailiffs and the police swoop in on Nov. 24 and Nov. 25 to drive away the protesters and dismantle the Mong Kok protest site.
Is Hongkongese Priority looking to avenge the pro-democracy occupiers with this injunction?
Certainly not, according to Cheung. He says that he is not “out for revenge” because he never joined the Occupy protests. However, Cheung is “inspired” by Chiu Luen’s success in getting help from the law to remove illegal obstructions, and has thus decided to use the law to stop the bus company from continuing their illegal practice.
Whether or not Hongkongese Priority’s injunction application gets approved will definitely be an interesting development in Hong Kong’s legal system.
Hong Kong inherited British “rule of law,” but this system has come under intense scrutiny by academics, lawmakers, protesters, and the public alike during the Umbrella Movement. Before the Mong Kok clearing, notable legal academics have questioned why the high court is granting injunctions to public companies to resolve an issue that should be taken up by the Hong Kong government.
The police, who are supposed to be politically neutral, have also been criticized for taking sides when upholding the law in the Umbrella Movement. Apart from being directly called upon to enforce injunctions, the police have been slammed for not taking action against “blue ribbon” anti-Umbrella Movement groups, who are equally guilty of protesting, heckling protesters, press, and the public, and being a general nuisance.