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Democracy Activists in HK Plan New Year's Demonstration - 2003-12-31


Six months after a half-million people rallied in the streets of Hong Kong to call for democratic reforms, the territory's pro-democracy lobby hopes to renew that so-called "people power" movement.

Organizers have urged Hong Kong residents to turn out again in massive numbers on Thursday, New Year's Day. Spokesman Richard Tsoi says he expects at least 10,000 people, and maybe more, will show up.

On July 1, 500,000 people demonstrated against a proposed anti-subversion law that many said would restrict freedoms already in place. The demonstrators also called for more democracy in the Chinese territory. That rally was followed by two smaller ones later in the month.

Hong Kong's government later withdrew the anti-subversion bill, saying it would re-introduce it only after consulting with the public.

The Hong Kong constitution allows for a democratically elected chief executive and legislature after 2007, but it sets no specific timetable. For now, Chief Executive Tung Chee-hwa and most of the legislative members are not directly elected by the public, but were selected by committees approved by Beijing.

Some information for this report provided by AP and AFP.

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