Asia

In pictures: Hong Kong protests swell

  • 1 October 2014
  • From the section Asia

Crowds are gathering in Hong Kong for what could be the largest day of pro-democracy protests in the territory since street demonstrations ballooned over the weekend.

It has been dubbed the "umbrella revolution" since protesters used umbrellas to protect themselves from pepper spray and tear gas fired by police.

The protesters are angry that Hong Kong Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying has refused to meet them. They have warned they will expand their demonstrations unless he resigns and the Chinese leadership agrees to wider electoral reforms.

Because Wednesday is a holiday - China's 65th National Day - many families with children joined the thousands of protesters who gathered in the centre of Hong Kong.

The protesters are also angry over China's decision last month to ensure that candidates for the territory's top post in the 2017 elections must be approved by a committee of mostly pro-China local elites.

Protesters wearing the yellow ribbons that have come to symbolise the movement occupied a growing stretch of Hong Kong's financial district overnight.

Correspondents say a carnival-like atmosphere continued to hold sway in the streets, although there are increasing calls for demonstrators to show greater seriousness, with organisers heard over loudspeakers urging demonstrators not to drink alcohol.

A protester holds up a sign outside the Golden Bauhinia Square in the Wan Chai district, also the site of an official Chinese flag-raising ceremony.

Hong Kong Chief Executive CY Leung (front, first right), seen here at the flag-raising ceremony, has called for an end to the demonstrations and rejected demands for his resignation.