Article published on the 2009-07-01 Latest update 2009-07-01 13:33 TU
Despite temperatures of 32 degrees Celsius, organisers claim that 76,000 turned out on the main demonstration, while other estimates put the figure at 40,000.
They had hoped to muster 150,000 after a large turnout for recent commemorations of the Tiananmen Square protests.
The crowds were critical of Beijing-backed Chief Executive Donald Tsang, especially for his handling of the economic crisis. The territory was in recession in the third quarter of 2008 and the economy is expected to contract by as much as 6.5 per cent in 2009.
The demonstrators called for Tsang to be elected by universal suffrage in 2012, along with the local legislature, the Legislative Council, which is in part elected by so-called "functional constituencies", representing interest groups.
Lehman Brothers minibond holders take part in a demonstration demanding a refund and urging Hong Kong Chief Executive Donald Tsang to step down
Earlier in the day, which is a public holiday, Tsang officiated at a flag-raising ceremony and a pro-beijing parade took place.
Another march involved investors who lost money in the collapse of the US investment house Lehman Brothers last September. They had put their money into a complex financial product known as "mini-bonds".
And a 40-strong "complaints choir" performed a five-minute dirge about various matters of discontent, ranging from taxes to bad bosses.
2009-06-04 06:45 TU