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Protesters gather in Hong Kong a year since mass rallies

Hong Kong: Protesters are due to gather once more in Hong Kong on Monday, a year since the start of huge pro-democracy rallies that brought parts of the city to a standstill.

But with no concessions on political reform from authorities in Beijing and Hong Kong, campaigners, disheartened by a lack of progress, say they do not plan to start more mass demonstrations.

Monday´s events are instead billed as a time for reflection as activists try to develop strategies to breathe new life into a movement which has lost momentum.

Occupy Central was launched a year ago, calling for fully free leadership elections in the semi-autonomous city, following more than a week of student protests.

Thousands joined the already large crowds after police fired tear gas in the afternoon of September 28, a move that shocked the public and galvanised the Umbrella Movement — named after the umbrellas protesters carried to shelter from sun, rain, tear gas and pepper spray.

For more than two months the centre of the city became an entrenched rally camp.

On Monday, activists will first gather at midday at the “Lennon Wall” — an outdoor staircase near the government headquarters that was plastered with thousands of multi-coloured paper notes expressing support during the protests.

It was at the heart of the sprawling protest site in Admiralty district, where the main pro-democracy rally will take place later Monday afternoon.

There will be a moment of silence at 5:58 pm (0958 GMT) — the time when the tear gas was fired.

Pro-Beijing groups are also due to march in two central areas of Hong Kong Monday afternoon.

Police will deploy 3,000 officers, the South China Morning Post reported, citing unnamed police sources.


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