[Photo Story] Hong Kong’s July 1 Street March

[Photo Story] Hong Kong’s July 1 Street March

What you need to know

Live from The News Lens in Hong Kong.

In the 19 years since the U.K. gave control of Hong Kong to Beijing, pro-democracy groups have commemorated July 1 in the city, the anniversary of the 1997 handover, with demonstrations. The demonstrations have served as a channel for Hong Kongers to demand democracy and freedom of speech. This year the march again calls for Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying (梁振英) to resign and protests against the “small-circle” electoral system (小圈子選舉) that prevails in the Special Administrative Region.

The Civil Human Rights Front, the organizer of the march, is confident the turnout for the march will be substantial – despite last year’s disappointing turnout of 48,000 participants. The protest last year also called on Leung to step down and for “full democracy,” but suffered fatigue after the previous year’s Umbrella Revolution.

The Hong Kong Federation of Students parted ways with the Front earlier this year. As a result, the Front is uncertain as to the number of students who will participate this year. Youngspiration and Civic Passion, two localist groups, stated they will not take part in the march, citing disagreements with the Front. Although Youngspiration was planning to set up a fundraising booth along the rally route, it refused to submit the requested one-tenth of their collections to the Front. Youngspiration also planned to protest in front of Beijing’s Liaison Office but failed to obtain permission from law enforcement authorities.

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Photo Credit: Wong Yu Fei

First Editor: Olivia Yang
Second Editor: J. Michael Cole