Students mobilised for pro-democracy demonstrations expected to draw 300,000 people University students are being mobilised to take part in the July 1 protest, with e-mails sent to students across campuses this week asking them to turn up for the pro-democracy demonstration expected to draw more than 300,000 people. Members of student unions which sent out the e-mails were also out on the streets this week collecting signatures supporting universal suffrage for the election of Chief Executive in 2007 and for the Legislative Council election in 2008, in a campaign by the Hong Kong Federation of Students, a student union umbrella group. Federation standing committee member Ho Chung-hei said 1,000 students were expected to gather under the federation's banner at Moreton Terrace, next to the Central Library, next week. 'Other students might simply go to Victoria Park, the starting point of the march, instead of joining us.' Polytechnic University Student Union has put articles and messages on its notice board next to the Democracy Wall on campus calling on students to take part. Union president Sin Ka-kui, a first year higher diploma student in social policy and administration, said it expected to take busloads of students to the protest. Like other student leaders, he is convinced of the need for reform in the way Hong Kong is governed. 'On top of direct elections, there needs to be improvement in the current system or the setting up of a new system to ensure accountability on the part of the government. The protest is not an act of confrontation, but rather to raise attention to the issues faced by Hong Kong now,' he said. His counterpart at Chinese University, Lee Nim-yan, said the Basic Law stipulated Hong Kong people's right to direct elections. 'It is ironic that the Chief Executive and his team who wield great powers over Hong Kong were chosen by a small circle and yet the legislators who are chosen by the public have limited influence.' Tse Chi-hang, external affairs secretary of the University of Hong Kong (HKU) Student Union, said he was not sure whether it was best to have universal suffrage in 2007 and 2008. But his group would send out e-mails on joining next week's protest to students after their return to the territory from Beijing today. An 11-member HKU delegation led by the union discussed the issue of democratisation with Beijing officials this week. It was the first time since June 1989 that local students had met with Beijing officials. Mr Tse said: 'The protest is meaningful in that it will be a show of the power of the people. 'There have been inadequate channels for communication between the government and the people, and that is why phone-in programmes have been so popular.'