Thousands rally for democracy in Hong Kong

Protesters in Hong Kong rally for real democracy after veto of Chinese-backed reform package

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Updated Jul 28, 2015

An estimated 48,000 people gathered to march for genuine democracy in Hong Kong on Wednesday calling for the Chinese administered city’s leader to resign.

The rally came soon after legislators decided against a China supported reform package that would allow the nation to vote for Hong Kong’s next leader in 2017.

The public, however, would only be able to vote for candidates that were pre-screened and selected from pro-Beijing candidates, according to the proposal.

The turnout was much less than last year’s rally, where more than half a million were present.

The crowd was chanting “I want real universal suffrage,” while holding up their yellow umbrellas that symbolise the “Umbrella Movement.”

Thousands of pro-democracy protesters had taken to the streets last month to protest against the Beijing-backed election reforms.

People protesting through the streets of Hong Kong chanted “I want genuine democracy” and “veto fake universal suffrage.”

The controversy however lies in the detail that sparked the fury of pro-democracy Hong Kong people. The candidates of the elections were to be pre-screened by a panel, meaning they would most likely be pro-Beijing candidates.

Thus, the reform was deemed a “fake” democratic approach by the people of Hong Kong and rallies were organised to halt the proposal.

Beijing had warned legislators that rejection of the bill could bring the democratisation process in the region to a standstill.

Pro-Beijing groups were lurking around the protesters, hurling insults from time to time.

Johnson Yeung, who was one of the organisers of the rally said “Hong Kong people have been through a lot and they've mobilized massively over the past few years.”

Some of the protesters were holding up banners that read “Hong Kong nation,” and other messages calling for Hong Kong’s independence. Some were asking Hong Kong’s leader, Leung Chun-ying to resign.

"Remake the future of our city. Build a democratic Hong Kong," they shouted.

TRTWorld and agencies