530,000, not 300,000

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More than half a million protestors marched yesterday in the heat and humidity and pollution. And people say that Hong Kongers aren’t political.

From the Times: Huge Rally in Hong Kong Calls for Democratic Elections. The key graf:

But on Thursday, Mr. Tung [Hong Kong’s Chief Executive] was barely mentioned as protesters showed a new boldness in denouncing mainland China for banning general elections here and, in their view, trying to intimidate democrats.

In something of a minor miracle for press freedom, the official Chinese press didn’t completely ignore the march; however, their coverage was perhaps less than comprehensive:

Demonstrators gathered at the Victoria Park on Hong Kong Island at 2:30 p.m. to hold a protest. They marched into the streets and caused traffic jams.

Well, I suppose we can be thankful that they at least mentioned the march…

It should be noted that the PLA garrisons were opened to the public for the holiday; does this mean a change in policy? (probably not, but it’s interesting nonetheless)

More followups: frequent commentor Tom has some great pictures of the march, as does this guy; more first-hand reports from here; here & here; here; and here.

A question for all the non-Asia readers out there: how much play did this story get in your local news (other than the Times, of course)?

And in unrelated news, it’s come to my attention that I have about three weeks left in Hongkers. Perhaps it’s time for a HK blogger get-together before I head back, eh? Who’s in?

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Hong Kong wants freedom from miss-information.net on July 2, 2004 6:45 AM

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I'm in, especially if you're buying the first one.

How does Saturday the 17th sound?

It was pretty well covered in New York City, anyway. Or maybe I just pay attention because I think what the people of Hong Kong have been doing totally kicks ass.

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