Thousands join Hong Kong’s largest pro-democracy march

Thousands of protesters marched through the streets of Hong Kong in one of its largest anti-government rally in months.

For the first time since August police allowed a rally organised by a a pro-democracy group, Civil Human Rights Front. Organisers said an estimated 800,000 took part in the rally.

The anti-government protests started in June over a controversial extradition bill, and have now evolved into demands for autonomy and rights.

In a statement on Saturday, the government called for calm and said it had “learned its lesson and will humbly listen to and accept criticism”.

At the end of the march, the government said it was looking forward to finding “a way out for Hong Kong’s deep problems through dialogue”.

Monday will mark six months since a mass rally on 9 June that triggered the political crisis that has gripped the semi-autonomous Chinese territory.

Organisers of the rally, the Civil Human Rights Front, said this is the government’s last chance to meet their demands, which include an independent inquiry into the police’s handling of the protests, an amnesty for those arrested, and free elections.

Over the recent months, clashes between protesters and police have increased. Some 6,000 people have been arrested and hundreds injured, since June.

However, Sunday’s march was largely peaceful.

At the end of the march protesters held their mobile phone torches aloft, illuminating the streets as they chanted anti-government songs.

Police arrested 11 people ahead of the rally and seized a handgun from one of them.