Protestors due to gather once more in Hong Kong

September 28, 2015 5:35 pm

Protesters
are due to gather once more in , a year since the start of
huge pro-democracy rallies that brought parts of the city to a
standstill.
But with no concessions on political reform from
authorities in Beijing and Hong Kong, campaigners, disheartened by a
lack of progress, say they do not plan to start more mass
demonstrations.
Monday’s events are instead billed as a time for
reflection as activists try to develop strategies to breathe new life
into a movement which has lost momentum.

Hong Kong protest 2014. Photo / Getty
 
Occupy Central was
launched a year ago, calling for fully free leadership elections in the
semi-autonomous city, following more than a week of student protests.
Thousands
joined the already large crowds after police fired tear gas in the
afternoon of September 28, a move that shocked the public and galvanised
the Umbrella Movement – named after the umbrellas protesters carried to
shelter from sun, rain, tear gas and pepper spray.

For more than two months the centre of the city became an entrenched rally camp.
On
Monday, activists will first gather at midday at the “Lennon Wall” – an
outdoor staircase near the government headquarters that was plastered
with thousands of multi-coloured paper notes expressing support during
the protests.
It was at the heart of the sprawling protest site
in Admiralty district, where the main pro-democracy rally will take
place later on Monday afternoon.
The protests began after ’s
central government claimed it was offering a compromise of sorts by
allowing a popular vote for Hong Kong’s leader in 2017 but insisted
candidates were vetted.
The electoral package was voted down in
June by pro-democracy legislators unhappy with the restrictions, leaving
the territory with its existing system where the leader is chosen by a
pro-Beijing election committee.
Hong Kong has been governed under a “one country, two systems” arrangement since it was handed back to China by Britain in 1997.
It allows far greater civil liberties than on the Chinese mainland, but there are growing fears those freedoms are being eroded.

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