Tens of thousands attend anti-Occupy protest in Hong Kong

Tens of thousands in Hong Kong suffered 30-degree heat to protest against plans by pro-democracy activists to paralyse the city centre with a mass sit-in unless China grants acceptable electoral reforms. Pro-democracy campaigners from the Occupy Central group have pledged to mobilise protesters to block roads in the Central financial district if authorities do not approve the fully democratic election of Hong Kong’s next leader in 2017. The Alliance for Peace and Democracy organised Sunday’s rally. It said the silent majority of the city’s 7 million residents do not support the Occupy movement.

We want to let the world know that we want peace, we want democracy, but please, do not threaten us, do not try to turn this place into a place of violence.

Robert Chow, spokesman for the Alliance for Peace and Democracy

Beijing has promised that Hong Kong voters can choose the leader from 2017, but insists candidates be vetted by the committee, which democracy activists reject. Pro-democracy advocates say this means Beijing will be able to ensure a sympathetic slate of candidates. A survey by Occupy activists found 800,000 people supported reform that would allow public nomination. Police estimated about 110,000 people joined Sunday’s anti-Occupy march from Victoria Park, many of them waving Chinese flags and wearing red.