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510,000 attend Hong Kong pro-democracy march: organisers

Published on Jul 1, 2014 11:48 PM
Policemen block a street in the central district as demonstrators march during a pro-democracy rally seeking greater democracy in Hong Kong on July 1, 2014 as frustration grows over the influence of Beijing on the city. July 1 is traditionally a day of protest in Hong Kong and also marks the anniversary of the handover from Britain to China in 1997, under a "one country, two systems" agreement. --PHOTO: AFP

HONG KONG (AFP) - More than half a million protesters took part in a pro-democracy march in rain-soaked Hong Kong Tuesday, organisers said, a record turnout believed to be the largest since the city was handed back to China.

"This year people came out braving the rain and wind and many citizens joined along the way," Johnson Yeung, a rally organiser, told a cheering crowd in the city's Central business district late Tuesday.

"According to conservative estimates, 510,000 people attended the march."

The scale of the turnout reflects surging discontent over Beijing's insistence that it vet candidates before a vote in 2017 for the semi-autonomous city's next leader.

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