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After recent chaos, Hong Kong protesters hold peaceful march

More than 1.7 million people in Hong Kong took to the streets on Sunday in the largest demonstration in the ongoing protests in the city, organizers said. The peaceful demonstration follows last week’s violent clashes with the police and chaos at the Hong Kong airport. Quartz reporter Mary Hui joins Hari Sreenivasan for more.

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  • Hari Sreenivasan:

    Good evening. Thanks for joining us.

    In what could be the largest demonstration yet, pro-democracy protesters filled the streets of Hong Kong today marching through heavy rain towards government offices to call for reform. Citing previous violence, police initially banned the protesters from marching but the rally, which had police approval quickly overwhelmed the city's Victoria Park and spilled into the nearby streets. The march remained peaceful with no reports of clashes with police. A smaller group remained outside government offices late into the night. The organizers of the pro-democracy movement say there were 1.7 million protesters.

    Quarts reporter Mary Hui is in Hong Kong. She joins us now via Skype. Thanks.

    So this last week has seen some changes in how the protests are functioning. Where did the protesters go from here?

  • Mary Hui:

    I think one of the main questions for protesters is, now after last Sunday night's aggressive step up in police action and then followed by the violent chaos at the airport, do the so-called kind of brave fighters on the frontline of the protests, take a step back? I think that's exactly what we saw today in Hong Kong.

    There's been a huge buildup of frustrations and things that people were angry about including a lack of free and fair elections, the lack of proper democracy and so those demands have actually become part of a broader set of five demands that people are now part of. And I think it reflects what a lot of Hong Kongers want.

  • Hari Sreenivasan:

    On a day to day basis, the days that the protests aren't going, is Hong Kong running business as usual?

  • Mary Hui:

    It's absolutely business as usual. You walk down to the train stations, it's people making their commutes to work. Sometimes it's a bit jarring even to think about what happened just the night before on the same streets and then you go in on a Monday and it's business as usual.

  • Hari Sreenivasan:

    All right. Quartz reporter Mary Hui joining us via Skype from Hong Kong. Thanks so much.

  • Mary Hui:

    Thank you very much.

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