Organisers of the July 1 march say they are sticking with the controversial slogan of 'Return power to the people', despite it being dropped by some pro-democracy groups. The Civil Human Rights Front spelled out its stance as a senior mainland official praised activists who have abandoned the slogan. Announcing details of the march yesterday, the front - an umbrella group of 52 bodies - said the slogan should not be censored because Beijing had interpreted it as a call for independence. 'We think we have to stand firm. Otherwise the public will lose confidence in us. What if someone challenges our slogans calling for democracy or freedom in future? Are we going to drop them as well?' asked march spokeswoman Jackie Hung Ling-yu. Other slogans to be used by the front are: 'One man, one vote to return the chief executive - Hong Kong's destiny is in our hands' and 'Trust the people of Hong Kong; respect people's voices; and demand government accountability'. Last Sunday, pro-democracy activists including Power for Democracy head Joseph Cheng Yu-shek, The Frontier's Emily Lau Wai-hing and unionist Lau Chin-shek said the theme of the march was still to fight for universal suffrage in 2007 and 2008. But they dropped the slogan 'Return power to the people', saying they wanted to adopt a more positive and proactive way to express democratic aspirations. Szeto Wah, whose Alliance in Support of Democratic Patriotic Movements in China is a member of the Civil Human Rights Front, denied there was a rift in the pan-democratic camp. He said the communists had used 'Return power to the people' as a slogan as early as the 1940s. Yang Wenchang, commissioner of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Hong Kong, said the democracy camp's change of heart on the slogan was a good thing.