Protesters March as New Hong Kong Leader Is Sworn In – NYTimes.com

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Protesters March as New Hong Kong Leader Is Sworn In

Vincent Yu/Associated Press

Thousands protested in Hong Kong on Sunday following the swearing in of the territory’s new chief executive.

HONG KONG — Huge crowds of protesters thronged the streets of Hong Kong on Sunday afternoon, hours after President Hu Jintao of China swore in a new chief executive and cabinet for the territory.

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Leung Chun-ying, left, Hong Kong’s new chief executive, was sworn in by Hu Jintao, the Chinese president.

Surging down broad avenues between high-rises in a central shopping district, the protesters marched toward two government office complexes carrying a variety of banners. A wide range of causes were represented, including greater democracy in Hong Kong and calls for better state pensions and day care.

But the most common theme was derision toward Hong Kong’s new chief executive, Leung Chun-ying. He was widely portrayed as a wolf because democracy activists contend that he is “a wolf in sheep’s clothing,” whose sympathies for the Chinese Communist Party may lead him to roll back some of the city’s cherished civil liberties — although Mr. Leung has denied that.

“We worry that as he becomes our leader, he will betray our freedoms and civil rights,” said Juno Wu, a 24-year-old librarian.

The Hong Kong government issued a statement Sunday evening saying that it would protect civil liberties.

“The Government will uphold the core values of Hong Kong and protect the freedom and rights of the people,” the statement said. “The chief executive and his team will honor their pledge to hold themselves accountable to the people. They will go to the districts to listen to people’s views and aspirations and work together with them to address the deep-rooted problems in a pragmatic manner, improve people’s livelihood and promote harmony and stability in society.”

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Protesters March as New Hong Kong Leader Is Sworn In – NYTimes.com.

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