01/02/2010, 00.00
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Some 30,000 people demonstrate for Liu Xiaobo and full democracy

Demonstration makes its way downtown, demanding universal suffrage for Hong Kongers and the release of the drafter of Charter 08, who was sentenced to 11 years in prison.
Hong Kong (AsiaNews/Agencies) – At least 30,000 people took part in a march in downtown Hong Kong, demanding full democracy and the release of activist Liu Xiaobo, sentenced to 11 years in prison on Christmas Day.

Organisers said they expected about 20,000 participants. They attribute the success of their initiative to the lack of democracy in the territory, which is creating a number of social problems.

In addition to protesters demanding universal suffrage, the gathering attracted people dissatisfied with family violence, concern for the social minorities and government planning decisions such as its plans to redevelop the old Kai Tak Airport site.

However, the main issue that drew people was the sentencing of Liu to 11 years on Christmas Day for his role in drafting the Charter 08 manifesto for democratic reforms on the mainland, which include demands for freedom of speech and a separation between the state and the Communist Party.

Before the march, lawmaker Margaret Ng Ngoi-yee unveiled a "democracy wall", similar to the one that went up in Beijing in 1978 to enable the public to write their opinions. It was on that occasion that the first demands for democracy, as well as technical and economic modernisation, appeared.

Margaret Ng stressed that the original 'Democracy Wall' gave birth to China's democracy movement.

"It was with that spirit that Charter 08 was drafted. But the drafter of that charter is now in jail," she lamented.


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