While Hong Kong (and the rest of the world, it seems) was transfixed by the Fishball Revolution in Mong Kok and its repercussions, a group of masked men were reportedly carrying out attacks on hawkers and residents in Tuen Mun largely unnoticed.
“At least six” unlicensed street hawkers near Leung King Estate were allegedly attacked at around 11pm on Tuesday evening, after weeks of being harassed and told to stop operating in the area by men who claimed to be part of the estate’s “management team”, Apple Daily reports.
Fighting apparently broke out after a confrontation between a group of masked men wearing black jackets saying “Management Team” and hawkers grew violent. Four men were reportedly injured in the brawl, including one resident and a journalist.
At one point, there was reportedly a crowd of between one to two hundred people watching the brawl, with one report stating that police had to form a “human wall” to stop people from joining in the fight.
According to The Standard, three members of the so-called management team, aged 30 to 40, were involved in the beatings, and are currently being sought by the police. One 31-year-old man was arrested for causing nuisance in a public place.
The SCMP reports that harassment of the hawkers began around Jan. 21, when a renovated wet market opened at the estate. One hawker told the paper that self-proclaimed managing officers would “come at night and fence off the area, stopping people from buying food [from the hawkers]”.
The source continued, saying that the “hawker control team” claimed to have been employed by Link REIT, the company who runs the wet market, to quash their wet market tenants’ competition.
Representatives for Link REIT have denied any involvement in the attacks, and said the “hawker control team” was not part of the company’s staff.
The attacks have not fazed the hardy hawkers, however. Around 10 hawkers told the SCMP that they would continue to hawk their food in the area, with one defiant snack-seller even saying “I will be here until they kill us”.
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