Tensions flare as thousands take to Hong Kong streets

Tens of thousands of pro-democracy protesters have taken to the streets of Hong Kong with many calling for the city's leader Leung Chun-ying to be sacked.

Activists want the nomination process for Hong Kong's next leader to be open to all. Credit: Reuters

Tensions flared as activists burned a copy of a "white paper" released by Beijing last month that reasserted the central government's authority over the former British colony. The group also burned a portrait of Leung.

Aerial shots showed many main streets packed with marchers. Credit: Reuters

Organisers of the annual July 1 rally, marking the day the territory returned to China in 1997, are expecting the largest turnout since 2003, when half a million people demonstrated against proposed anti-subversion laws which were later scrapped.

Blog: Can China's leaders ignore Hong Kong's biggest protest in a decade?

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Police clash with Hong Kong democracy protestors

Hong Kong police have forcibly removed protestors kicking and screaming from the city's central business district, Reuters reports.