190,000 people in HK turn up for anti-Occupy march: organizer
Updated: 2014-08-17 23:33
HONG KONG - More than 190,000 people in Hong Kong took to the streets on Sunday to express their aspiration to achieve universal suffrage for the Chief Executive election in 2017 in a peaceful way and their opposition against the Occupy Central movement, according to the organizer of the activities.
Demonstrators set off for Central from Victoria Park at 1:30 p. m. and the march ended at 6:30 p.m. The Alliance for Peace and Democracy, organizer of the activities preliminarily estimated that 193,000 people participated in the march.
The march marks the end of a month-long signature campaign. Approximately 1.5 million people in Hong Kong have signed a petition to call for a peaceful universal suffrage, according to the Alliance for Peace and Democracy.
Sunday's activities started with a morning run. Around 900 people ran on the march route from Victoria Park to Central.
The organizer also set aside an area for flower presentation at Central. The demonstrators who arrived at the final destination could present flowers to express their aspiration to attain universal suffrage for the Chief Executive election in a peaceful and democratic way.
Cao, a health care worker, said that it was the first time she has participated in such a march, and she represented the silent majority of Hong Kong residents. She said that as far as she knew, the majority of people working in Central object to the Occupy Central movement.
"If the Occupy Central movement really happened, How could doctors save lives (amid such chaotic situation)? " Cao expressed her concern.
"For our children and families as well as peace and prosperity of society, I hope Hong Kong remains stable," she said.
Another demonstrator surnamed Chen also voiced his firm support for the march. Chen said that as a businessman, he craves for nothing but a sound business environment. The Occupy Central movement will definitely affect the peace and stability of Hong Kong, and "that's why we must boycott it," he said.
In response to the activities, a government spokesman said that the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) government fully respects the public's right to take part in processions and their freedom of expression as enshrined in law.
"The HKSAR 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," the spokesman said.
The spokesman also said that the HKSAR government sincerely hopes that universal suffrage for the Chief Executive election will be implemented in 2017, "so that over five million eligible voters will be able to elect the next chief executive by 'one person, one vote'."