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Protesters Return to Hong Kong Streets


Protesters carrying yellow umbrellas, the symbol of the Occupy movement, march on a street in Hong Kong, Feb. 1, 2015.

Thousands of pro-democracy protesters returned to the streets of Hong Kong for the first mass demonstration since they shut down parts of the city late last year, demanding full democracy in the former British colony.

Organizers said the protest Sunday was intended to be peaceful and not a repeat of the so-called Occupy Central campaign, in which demonstrators shut down key streets for 2 1/2 months beginning in late September.

Thousands of police monitored the march, but there were no reports of disturbances or arrests.

Organizers had hoped for a turnout of 50,000 but estimated about 13,000 protesters showed up. But police said 8,800 people took part in the march at its peak, Reuters reported.

Demonstrators change tactics

Teacher Suzanna Choi said demonstrators like her have listened to the people of Hong Kong and are changing tactics.

"I think people in Hong Kong are changing and we are telling the government, what you are pushing forward and what you are trying to tell us is not what we are embracing anymore. So we have changed," she said.

Authorities cleared protest camps in December without granting the demonstrators any concessions.

The protesters are demanding Hong Kong Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying resign and Beijing reverse its decision to screen candidates for the territory's 2017 election.

Some material for this report came from Reuters.