Contrasting rallies planned for next week
Hong Kong's political divisions will literally play out in black and white next week.
On Sunday supporters of Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying will march from Victoria Park in Causeway Bay to government headquarters in Admiralty. The organiser, internet-based group Caring Hong Kong Power, has asked participants to wear white.
Two days later, on New Year's Day, opponents of the government will march along the same route. Organiser the Civil Human Rights Front has asked marchers to don black clothes.
Caring Hong Kong Power predicts 5,000 people will join its march, while the front predicts the anti-Leung event will draw 50,000.
Caring Hong Kong Power's convenor, Chan Ching-sum, said the group, which was started last year, was unhappy with the pan-democrats' continuous attacks on Leung over the illegal structures in his home.
Chan said Leung had already done a lot to improve people's lives since he took office as chief executive in July.
"Political rows occur unceasingly since the handover. People oppose because they want to oppose, and it never ends. We come out to support C.Y. introducing benevolent policies."
The Civil Human Rights Front's convenor, Jackie Hung Ling-yu, said its supporters were animated by a number of grievances against Leung.
"This is not only [about] the problem of Leung's illegal structures," Hung said. "The Central Policy Unit is appointing Beijing-friendly politicians such as Lau Kong-wah to join the government. It is not considering his abilities, but his relationship with the government."
Hung, whose group organises the annual July 1 anti-government protest, said Leung should step down in order for Hong Kong's leader and legislature to be elected by universal suffrage.
Groups such as Scholarism, the student movement against teaching national education in schools, and those against building new towns in the northeastern New Territories have indicated their intention to join the protest against Leung.