Thousands of pro-democracy activists have again returned to the streets of Hong Kong for their first big rally since mass protests last year. Read more from the BBC:
But the number of protesters – put by organisers at 13,000 but by police at half that figure – was far lower than the earlier demonstrations. Their key demand is fully democratic elections for the territory’s leader. A large police presence was in force to prevent demonstrators from occupying key areas of Hong Kong.
But the protesters did not carry out a repeat of the occupations that shut down parts of the city for more than two months last year. Last year’s Occupy demonstrations at their peak were attended by tens of thousands of people from all walks of life. There were later violent clashes with police, and the final protest camp was dismantled in December.
One organiser of the latest march, Daisy Chan, told the South China Morning Post that although the turnout was lower than expected it “only shows that Hong Kongers are no longer satisfied with conventional ways of protest” and people were taking up “new ways to pressure the government”.