HONG KONG – Tens of thousands of people marched under the blistering sun in Hong Kong on Sunday to express their opposition to a prodemocracy movement that has threatened to bring Asia’s biggest financial center to a standstill if the government does not open up the nomination process for electing the city’s top leader.
Protesters, many waving Chinese flags, streamed into Victoria Park in midafternoon before a planned march, and the contrast with a rally held July 1 by prodemocracy organizers was stark. Many, if not most of the participants in Sunday’s rally, were born in mainland China. Most were organized into groups corresponding to Chinese hometowns, schools or, in some cases, employers, easily identifiable with their matching T-shirts and hats. Middle-aged and elderly people dominated Sunday’s march, while young people dominated last month’s march.
The protesters Sunday wanted to show their opposition to Occupy Central With Love and Peace, an umbrella organization encompassing a wide swath of Hong Kong society, including students, Christian religious leaders and some bankers. Occupy Central leaders have vowed to bring Central to a standstill with a sit-in protest should the national legislature and the city government insist on a plan for nominating the chief executive that bars candidates unacceptable to Beijing.
New York Times