Tens of thousands vote in Hong Kong democracy ‘referendum’

Peace and Freedom

Hong Kong:  Pro-democracy activists have vowed to wage a campaign of civil disobedience unless their demands for universal suffrage in the former British colony are met

Pro-democracy supporters raise banners in Hong Kong
Pro-democracy supporters raise banners that read: “Occupy Central with Love and Peace,” a reference to a proposed Occupy-style protest in Hong Kong Photo: AP

Tens of thousands of people voted in an unofficial “referendum” on Hong Kong’s political future on Friday as tensions between pro-democracy activists and Beijing soared and one former senior official predicted a “very long hot summer” of protests.

Within hours of its opening, organisers said more than 165,000 people had taken part in the vote, which is designed to help push for increased democratic rights and gauge support for a major campaign of protests in the former colony over the coming weeks and months.

“Vote. Be heard. Tell the rulers we want an accountable government,”…

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