Organisers of today's pro-democracy march are hoping that the jailing of mainland dissident Liu Xiaobo will boost the turnout. Pan-democrats will take to the streets to call for the introduction of 'genuine universal suffrage' and the abolition of functional constituencies in the legislature. Organisers are hoping 10,000 people will take part in the march, and the pan-democratic camp was optimistic yesterday that despite the gloomy weather and the holiday season, the public would still want to voice their concerns. Lee Cheuk-yan, lawmaker and general secretary of the Confederation of Trade Unions, said recent events, including the jailing by mainland authorities of Liu, meant people had a number of causes for which they should take to the streets. 'We should also take this opportunity to remind the central authorities that Hong Kong people do not accept this [treatment of Liu]. Liu's cause is also our cause, we stand up for our rights,' he said. Liu, a key drafter of the Charter 08 manifesto for democratic reform on the mainland, was jailed for 11 years on Christmas Day for inciting subversion of state power. Advertisements appeared in newspapers yesterday describing the march as a platform to express opposition to the government's electoral reform proposals, which have been criticised for showing no signs of how universal suffrage will be implemented. However, Richard Tsoi Yiu-cheong, convenor of march organiser Power for Democracy, said he did not fear a mixed message if marchers today took Liu as their cause for turning out. 'All social issues, whether they are livelihood issues or human rights issues, are linked with democracy. Unless we have genuine universal suffrage, we cannot be sure our rights are fully protected,' he said, adding that Tsoi Yuen Tsuen residents opposing the Guangzhou-Shenzhen-Hong Kong Express Rail Link may also want to take part. Democratic Party vice-chairwoman Emily Lau Wai-hing said: 'We welcome anyone who supports democracy, freedom, rule of law and human rights to come out. Demonstrating has achieved results in the past, since the more people, the clearer the message we can send to Beijing, the Hong Kong government and even the international community.' Marchers will start out from Chater Road, Central, at 3pm and travel along Des Voeux Road, finishing at the central government liaison office in Western.