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Tuesday, August 19, 2014, 08:28

Organizers hail success of anti-‘Occupy’ rally

By Kahon Chan in Hong Kong
Organizers hail success of anti-‘Occupy’ rally
A man takes part in themass rally of the anti-"Occupy Central" campaign organized by the Alliance for Peace and Democracy on Aug 17, 2014. (Edmond Tang / China Daily)

The month-long campaign against “Occupy Central” concluded on Sunday with 1.5 million signatories and an estimated 250,000 participants in the three events on Sunday, the Alliance for Peace and Democracy on said Monday.

Robert Chow Yung, vocal opponent of the illegal “Occupy” campaign and co-founder of the alliance, thanked the public at a press conference for their enthusiastic support since the launch of the petition on July 17.

“The people have refused to let ‘Occupy Central’ claim that it, alone, represents mainstream opinion. We’ve since become a stronger voice to advocate our love for peace and universal suffrage, not violence or ‘Occupy Central’,” said Chow.

Another alliance founder Irons Sze Wing-wai, president of the Chinese Manufacturers’ Association, said he felt they had achieved something important.

Sze said they had mobilized the opponents of “Occupy” while at the same time expressing support for universal suffrage in the 2017 Chief Executive election.

The Sunday march attracted an estimated crowd of 193,000, according to the organizers. Police put the figure at 111,800. The police based their estimate upon a count of people leaving the two exits of Victoria Park, where marchers were asked to assemble.

One of the initiators of the alliance, Stanley Ng Chau-pei, explained that their headcount was produced by a statistics expert. This expert had used a video showing the flow of protesters at the park. He based his calculations on the assumption that 12 participants per second had passed through the exit throughout the four hours.

The estimated overall turnout of 250,000 for all three activities on Sunday, including a “flower dedication” and a morning race, was based on the number of stickers handed out during the day.

Ng admitted the method was flawed as participants might have taken many stickers.

Two independent teams of University of Hong Kong pollsters claimed no more than 60,000 marchers had crossed a footbridge near police headquarters in Wan Chai.

March coordinator Brave Chan Yung questioned the figures estimated by university pollsters. To refute reports that the organizer had exaggerated the turnout estimates, Chan showed two sets of film footage to reporters. He assured them there was a constant flow of protesters marching along the tramway route on Hong Kong Island for almost five hours.

The organizer also responded to further controversy surrounding the rally. Robert Chow, for instance, criticized Internet media D100 for “naked” political persecution. This was after its freelance program host, Eric Ng Ka-lim, was suspended for his role in the Sunday march.

kahon@chinadailyhk.com

 

 
 
 
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