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  • Oct 23, 2014
  • Updated: 5:48am
Occupy Central
NewsHong Kong
POLITICS

Police say anti-Occupy Central turnout was higher than July 1 march

Pro-Beijing alliance says turnout shows many Hongkongers are against civil disobedience campaign, despite claims of protest recruitment

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 17 August, 2014, 11:36pm
UPDATED : Monday, 18 August, 2014, 4:50pm
 

Poll

  • Yes: 31%
  • No: 69%
18 Aug 2014
  • Yes
  • No
Total number of votes recorded: 474

Tens of thousands of demonstrators took to the streets yesterday in protest at the threat by Occupy Central campaigners to paralyse Central and pressure Beijing into giving Hong Kong "genuine" universal suffrage.

Among those leading the march, organised by the pro-establishment Alliance for Peace and Democracy, were executive councillors Regina Ip Lau Suk-yee, Cheung Chi-kong, Jeffrey Lam Kin-fung, and Cheng Yiu-tong.

There were also large numbers of mainland tourists and organised groups of elderly participants from leftist associations.

Watch: Why Anti-Occupy Central demonstrators occupied Central, the answer is unclear

Shouts of "Against Occupy Central" echoed through the streets as the crowds marched from Victoria Park in Causeway Bay to Chater Garden in Central.

Police said about 111,000 people took part, compared with its estimate of roughly 98,600 for the pro-democracy march on July 1. The University of Hong Kong public opinion programme put the number at between 79,000 and 88,000, roughly half of its estimate for the July 1 march.

An initial estimate by the alliance put the figure at 193,000.

READ: United they stand - Anti-Occupy campaign rallies establishment camp

The protest was peaceful apart from some minor clashes between marchers and opponents. Four men aged between 36 to 58 were arrested. Another marcher threw eggs at radical People Power activists.

A statement from Hong Kong police said: "Police received several incident reports in the course of the event, including assault, criminal damage and a person throwing eggs." It added officers "handled the incidents in a fair and just manner".

Amid conflicting reports on the size of the crowd, rumours flew of participants being strong-armed into attending and of people being offered a free lunch or money. Many restaurants in the area reported full houses. Tour buses were also seen streaming into Victoria Park, reportedly bringing people from across the border.

Starry Lee Wai-king, an executive councillor and lawmaker from the Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong, said: "The turnout shows many Hong Kong people do not want to see Occupy Central happen. [The Occupy Central] activists have gone too far."

The march marked the end of the alliance's month-long petition campaign against Occupy Central during which nearly 1.5 million people signed, beating the 800,000 who voted in an unofficial referendum held in June by Occupy Central organisers.

Dr Chan Kin-man, an organiser of Occupy Central, said he respected the freedom of speech of the marchers. "I hope they can understand that Occupy Central will only be our last resort," he said.

A government spokesman said: "The [Hong Kong] government welcomes and supports all activities which take forward the implementation of universal suffrage for the chief executive election in 2017 in accordance with the law and opposes all unlawful acts which affect social order and the betterment of our people."

Dr James Sung Lap-kung, a City University political scientist, said that whatever the size of the march's crowd, it would not stop the Occupy Central movement.

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166

This article is now closed to comments

rease.92
So, why do they use democratic means to demonstrate against democracy?
ohyeahar
Frankly, I find it insulting that the police and the march organizers are reporting these numbers to us. It’s like they expect people to take their word at face value. HELLO! We have pictures and videos of both marches for comparison. HELLO! We also have witnesses who can confirm that they were indeed paid to march or marching against their own will (because of their employers).

Imagine if Team China played Team USA in a basketball game. The Chinese media would claim that Team China won convincingly. Only problem was there are video highlights all over the Internet and they all show Team USA running fast breaks and making spectacular plays after spectacular plays. And the boxscore shows Team USA winning by 50 even though they rested their starters for the entire second half. But the Chinese media would still say Team China won. Wouldn’t you feel insulted at that point?
chaz_hen
Now you're channelling Orwell. But I don't think a CCP member or any one of the 50 cent brigade on these pages would be insulted.
They'd actually celebrate in the air conditioned McD's in Mong Kok where they're getting free WiFi while sipping on a small Coke.
williechow
Headline cries: "Police say anti-Occupy Central turnout was higher than July 1 march"
Per the story, the Police said about 111,000 people took part. Police did not say the turnover was higher than the July 1 march.
Accurate reporting is never SCMP's strong suit.
53f22d37-1cac-49fb-b396-743b0a320969
O my God! I can't believe it! The Jews are censoring me! :-)
.
All right, since you censor me, here we go:
.
G-W-E-I-L-O
.
G-W-A-I-L-O
.
K-W-A-I-L-O
.
G-U-I-L-O
.
Hahahaha!!! S*ckers.
.
53f22d37-1cac-49fb-b396-743b0a320969
The overwhelming, silent majority of Hongkongers is pro-China.
.
SCMP is the mouthpiece of Western intelligence agencies.
.
Anyone not for China is against China and therefore is our enemy. This goes for Hongkongers acting as useful idiots, too.
.
The comment sections of mouthpiece SCMP is full of ****s, who are in fact foreign agents.
.
Go and collect your .5 shekel and get the hell out of here.
.
Leave Hong Kong. Shoo. Get lost. You are not welcome here. Go and shoot some child **** and sell it for a profit, Judaist/Talmudist/Cabalist/Satanist fc*kers.
chaz_hen
The obvious signs of your pathetic desperation are too laughable.
What's overtime pay for 50 cents? You fenqing have been up a long time...
ann.wei.121
Police say, ahhaha.....ah...ha ha..ha ha ha ha ha ha .....police say !
ei050705
If I no needed to work, I should join the march on Sun!
johnh
if you no needed to work, you will have party time!

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