HONG KONG—July 1 marked the 10th anniversary of Hong Kong's takeover by communist China, and once again, approximately 68,000 people marched in the streets to call for democratic reform in Hong Kong.
The organizer, the Civil Human Rights Front, is a collective of over 50 civil groups from Hong Kong. Many Hong Kong democratic figures also joined the “March for Freedom” from communism, including the Bishop of Hong Kong, Cardinal Joseph Zen, former Chief Secretary of the Hong Kong Government Anson Chan, and chairman of the HK Alliance in Support of Patriotic Democratic Movements in China Szeto Wah.
The main theme of the march was to call for a general democratic election and to improve living standards. Many Hong Kong citizens also brought attention to:
- Supporting the freedom of Hong Kong radio stations.
- Requesting the release of Hong Kong senior media worker Ching Cheong.
- Requesting “equal pay for equal work” from the teacher and medical professional groups.
- Calling for the end of the persecution of Falun Gong now and before the 2008 Olympic Games.
- Bringing former communist leader Jiang Zemin to justice for crimes against humanity.
- Supporting Chinese people to quit the Communist Party and its affiliated organizations.
Half a million people in Hong Kong marched on the streets on July 1, 2003, and having experienced this, the Chinese communist regime and its Hong Kong Special Administrative Region government took extensive measures to restrict people's democratic rights and self-expression by:
- Ending the march in three hours so as not to affect celebration activities.
- Setting restrictions on the march route.
- Blocking approximately 1,000 Taiwanese Falun Gong practitioners from entering. Hong Kong to support the march, including violently deporting over 500 Taiwanese practitioners back to Taiwan from the Hong Kong airport.
- Blocking over 100,000 mainland Chinese tourists from entering Hong Kong during this time period.