Five hundred thousand people have taken part in one of the biggest demonstrations in Hong Kong’s history.
They are angry over a recent warning from Beijing that it holds ultimate authority over the former British colony.
The protesters want greater democracy in elections for the city’s leader, or chief executive, scheduled to take place in 2017.
China only wants pro-Beijing candidates to run for election.
Protesters want the vote open to everyone.
“What we are doing tonight is telling the government that if they do not respond to our requests this is only the first step,” explained Chan Yin-man, a Chinese University of Hong Kong student. “The next step,” he said, “will be further action and in many other places.”
The annual July 1 rally marks the day the territory was handed back from Britain to China in 1997.