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Bishkek (AKIpress) - Tens of thousands of Hong Kong residents marched for democracy Tuesday in a show of growing dissatisfaction with the city's leaders and the growing influence of China's authoritarian rulers, the AFP reports.
Police arrested more than 500 people holding an overnight sit-in after the rally.Organizers led the march from Hong Kong's Victoria Park to the central business district. Some campaign groups vowed to hold overnight "sit-ins."
Police estimated the throng at almost 100,000, while organizers put the total at more than 500,000.
Police said 511 people were arrested Wednesday for unlawful assembly and preventing police from carrying out their duties. They were holding an overnight sit-in after the rally.
The peaceful crowds carried banners and posters urging democracy as they marched in sweltering heat through skyscraper-lined streets to the financial district. Some chanted, "Our own government, our own choice," while others called for the city's leader, Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying, to step down.
Some groups along the protest route sang a Cantonese version of Do You Hear the People Sing? from the musical adaptation of Victor Hugo's novel Les Miserables. The song has become an anthem for Hong Kong's pro-democracy movement.
Tuesday's rally commemorated the day in 1997 when the capitalist enclave and former British colony was returned to communist Chinese rule under a "one country, two systems" arrangement that preserves political liberties restricted on the mainland, such as holding public protests.