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Tired of protest and conflict, Hongkongers give July 1 pro-democracy march the cold shoulderSCMP1 July 2015As thousands of Hong Kong protesters flocked to Victoria Park for the July 1 pro-democracy march, some chose to give the annual ritual the cold shoulder.Some dismissed the march as “pointless”, while others said they were fed up with seemingly endless protests in Hong Kong and wanted harmony.In Taikoo Shing, Loren Lau, 50, an administration officer, said she was not interested in joining the protest because “they are too extreme”.She called young activists “spoiled children” who could only offer criticism instead of solutions. “Democracy doesn’t mean you want your way [only],” she said.In Central, waiter Edwin Chung Long-win, 20, said he did not support the activists’ demands and was afraid that the march could degenerate into violence.“Their idea of freedom isn’t mine. The umbrella movement was only propaganda. [The protesters] destroyed public property and fought with police officers,” said Chung, who added he had been forced by his father in the past to take part in the July 1 march.High school pupil Dominic Wan, 18, chose to spend the day shopping instead of joining the march.He said: “We don’t have anything to complain about. I’m not too fond of this Occupy thing. I don’t believe it’s good for Hong Kong. [They] annoy a lot of people … I think Hong Kong is good as it is. I think we depend on China.”Secondary school student Ho Wing-hon, 15, chose to watch a film instead of joining the march.“I think all those under the age of 18 should not participate in political movements as [there are risks] they could lead to violence,” said Ho, who had never joined the July 1 march before. He did not join the Occupy protests last year either.“I’m just not interested in protest marches. It seems pointless and boring.”Restaurant manager Michael Lee, 45, said: “What I want is a more peaceful Hong Kong. Since the Occupy movement, I have been feeling a sense of insecurity. The city is not as safe as it was before. I don’t like violence. I don’t want to send my son to local universities. Some professors are talking about politics but not teaching knowledge and skills.”Natalie Cheung Ka-man, 31, of Mong Kok, also said: “It’s useless. A march will not bring any change. There’ll be noise [from media reports]. But everything will remain the same afterwards.”Reporting by Gloria Chan, Ben Westcott, Jessie Lau, Sidney Leng, Celine Ge, Naomi Ng, and Allen Au-yeung
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