Hong Kong pro-democracy protesters are gearing up for a bigger fight after thousands took to the streets on Sunday in a prelude to a civil disobedience campaign by Occupy Central.
The “black protest”, in which the marchers wore black and yellow ribbons on their wrists, started in Causeway and ended in Chater Road in Central.
Organizers said 4,000 people took part in the march while Hong Kong police estimated the crowd at 1,860, Apple Daily reported Monday.
Banners flew over the crowds declaring “government eating its words”, “class boycott” and “civil disobedience”.
Martin Lee, 76, founding chairman of the Democratic Party, led the protest together with other senior members of the pan-democratic camp.
He said he is gearing up for a wider civil disobedience campaign by Occupy Central to protest Beijing’s proposed election framework that restricts the choices of Hong Kong people for their next leader.
Lee said the proposal contravenes the Basic Law, Hong Kong’s mini constitution, and accused the government of working not for Hong Kong people but for the central government.
Student leader Lester Shum said Beijing crushed any hopes of real democracy in Hong Kong and echoed protest organizers in vowing an era of protest.
Meanwhile, Occupy Central founder Benny Tai said he was surprised by the turnout given that the group did not heavily promote the march.
Tai said the planned occupation of Central, the highlight of the protest movement, is only part of a wider campaign of civil disobedience.
He compared the blockade of the main business and financial district with the last leg of a marathon race which requires a lot of preparation and determination.
Still, Tai is confident of a large turnout.
Among Sunday’s marchers were a couple in their sixties, surnamed Tam, who said they refuse to accept fake democracy such as that in North Korea.
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