Hundreds of thousands march for democracy in Hong Kong

A child holds up a banner during a pro-democracy rally in Hong Kong, on July 1, 2014Waving colonial-era flags and chanting anti-Beijing slogans, more than half a million protesters took to the streets of Hong Kong to rally for democratic reforms Tuesday, organisers said, claiming the largest turnout since the city was handed back to China. The scale of the rally reflects surging discontent over Beijing’s insistence that it vet candidates before a vote in 2017 for the semi-autonomous city’s next leader. It comes after nearly 800,000 people took part in an informal referendum demanding that voters be allowed a say in the nomination of candidates, which Beijing branded “illegal and invalid”. The protest route from the city’s Victoria Park to the skyscraper-packed Central business district was a sea of umbrellas to combat heavy downpours and banners emblazoned with slogans including “We want real democracy” and “We stand united against China”.

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