July 1 march
The annual July 1 march in Hong Kong marks the handover of the British colony to Beijing that took place in 1997. The peaceful demonstration has become a rallying point for pro-democracy activists. The march captured the public's attention in 2003, when half a million marched, angered by proposed national security legislation under Article 23 of the Basic Law.
A diversity of views from participants in July 1 events
Participants at Monday's July 1 march express their opinions on the Leung Chun-ying administration, universal suffrage, what July 1 means to them and what they would like to see change in Hong Kong.
On the street
Lo Pui-sze, Secondary Four student
"CY is always dodging questions. It seems that he is not serving Hong Kong with his heart. As for central government, I think it wants to assimilate Hong Kong, making it a place without freedom of speech just like the mainland."
Li Ping-kee, 67, owner of a publishing house
"CY lies about everything. He keeps boasting himself but indeed he is not capable at all. What’s more, he appointed his confidants to work in the administration. They are not doing a good job.”
At a pro-government rally in Tsim Sha Tsui
Lam Siu-lam, 53, businessman
"I came here to support the Voice of Loving Hong Kong. I came here last year too. But I am not satisfied with the current Hong Kong government. CY Leung never managed to work with the pan-democrats. Neither of them are willing to compromise, that’s why Hong Kong gets nothing done. I am not satisfied with the ‘one country, two systems’ in Hong Kong either. It definitely needs to be improved.”
Lam Chiu-ngam, 65, teacher,
"The only thing I support is Hong Kong itself. You can’t occupy Central for political reasons. Such behaviour will only damage Hong Kong. I am not satisfied with the performance of CY Leung, but it is acceptable. I think he is doing his best as Hong Kong is so divided right now. As for the ‘one country, two system’ policy, I think it still has space to improve. We should give it more time. Hong Kong is not doing well now, and of course some will complain about it. But who is the one to blame? The whole world is not doing well now. We can’t blame the government for a bad environment.”
Chan Log-on, 50-59, trader
"I am here because the pan-democrats have gone too far. I support CY and I was born and raised in Hong Kong. CY has done a lot to improve the current condition of Hong Kong. The government now is more efficient and social welfare is better than before. You can’t expect Hong Kong to become a paradise immediately."
At the pro-democracy rally
Ms Chan, church worker
"Through prayer, I heard from the voice of the Lord that we are meant to have universal suffrage this year. I hope by 2017, we can see each citizen having their own vote. As for Occupy Central, as long as it is done peacefully and orderly, I support it.”
Nicolas Baumann and family
"We are here because we are dissatisfied with the Hong Kong government and think it is slow and inefficient in effecting change. We want to make an impact peacefully, that’s why we are at the protest. I brought my son because, well, I cannot leave him at home can I?”
"It’s my first time at the July 1 march. I’m only here to join in the fun, and experience the atmosphere.”
"I think July 1 is about expressing our hopes for freedom of speech and full democracy. That’s why I am here.”
"I don’t ask for much, I just want universal suffrage, and I don’t think CY can give that to us.”
The Chu family
"I think July 1 is extremely important. We need universal suffrage. Freedom is so limited right now, and we are not experiencing democracy in any form at the moment. People cannot afford property, jobs are limited, and the government sympathises too much with the corporate business leaders and property tycoons. We bring out children to this protest every year. We want to return to the level of democracy we had before the handover.”