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Watch: An epic video of Hong Kong’s epic pro-democracy protests

As my colleague William Wan reports, Hong Kong marked its annual "establishment" day Tuesday with mass pro-democracy protests. The mood in the former British colony now overseen by China has soured against the mainland, with many Hong Kongers wary of Beijing's perceived attempts to undermine the territory's unique freedoms and democracy.

As many as 500,000 Hong Kongers took to the streets Tuesday. The timelapse video (HT @JoshTANoble) above shows tens of thousands streaming in and out of Victoria Park, the traditional staging ground for protests in the city and the annual site of vigils honoring those slain in the 1989 crackdown in Beijing's Tiananmen Square.

As night fell, more than 2,000 students proceeded to camp out in the city's Central business district, reprising an earlier sit-in organized by Hong Kong's equivalent of the Occupy Wall Street movement. Occupy organizers were behind an impressive online referendum on universal suffrage that drew in some 800,000 Hong Kong voters. The semi-elected Hong Kong government, which rules by Beijing's fiat, says it won't recognize the poll.

Ishaan Tharoor writes about foreign affairs for The Washington Post. He previously was a senior editor at TIME, based first in Hong Kong and later in New York.



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