Wednesday, 2 August 2017

Civic Square May Reopen

When young people stormed Civic Square and surrounded by police in 2014
Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor is trying to score some brownie points, the latest being the possibility of re-opening Civic Square at Government headquarters after her predecessor Leung Chun-ying closed it in July 2014.

The shutting of the square inspired young people to climb over the fence and retake the area which resulted in the 79-day Umbrella Movement.

Carrie Lam made election pledge to reopen Civic Square
Lam made a campaign promise to re-open the 1,000-square metre area after relevant management and security studies are completed in three months.

"Even from the perspective of the government's dignity, I think the forecourt outside the east wing of the headquarters should be reopened," she said, adding the new government had adopted an "open and positive" attitude on the matter.

Since Lam is willing to be "open and positive" about this matter, we'll take it.

Interestingly, there is currently a judicial challenge filed in court by retired photojournalist Cheung Tak-wing, who believes Civic Square should be open because it's a government building, which belongs to taxpayers, in other words, the public.

Is Civic Square on public or private property?
However, the government claims that as the landowner, it has the right to exclude the public from using the forecourt.

Lam may declare the area open before the challenge begins in court on August 23, which would make the court case moot, but it would still be interesting to go through the legal challenge so that we all know who is correct in this matter.

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