Hong Kongers march to mark anniversary of protests
Hundreds of demonstrators have assembled in front of Hong Kong government headquarters to mark the first anniversary of mass protests that called for electoral reforms in the Special Administrative Region of China.
The demonstrators came together on the roads and walkways near government headquarters in the Admiralty financial district on Monday to hold a moment of silence.
They instead opened their yellow umbrellas, which are symbol of their movement, amid a heavy police presence. The crowds later dispersed voluntarily.
Last year, tens of thousands of protesters gathered on a regular basis for nearly 80 days to urge political reforms in the city and fully free leadership vote.
Protests in Hong Kong began in September 2014 after China said voters had to choose the region’s next chief executive in 2017 from a list of two or three candidates selected by a nominating committee.
Those opposing the Chinese government proposal denounced it as “sham democracy,” calling for genuine universal suffrage.
This is while during Monday’s rally, protest leaders encouraged people to keep fighting for their demands.
“The authorities will still be against us but that doesn’t mean we will give up,” said student leader Lester Shum.
Meanwhile, dozens of pro-China demonstrators held a rival rally in central part of the city, shouting “Hong Kong people have had enough!” as they say anti-election law activists disrupt daily life.
Hong Kong has enjoyed substantial political autonomy since 1997, when it returned to China after about a century of British colonial rule.