Protesters Fill Hong Kong Streets as Reform Deadline Looms

Music, "mobile light" vigil mark peaceful night of rallies.

— -- Pro-democracy protesters filled the streets of Hong Kong today, one day before a deadline for governmental reform.

The Occupy Central movement says it set an Oct. 1 deadline for the city’s unpopular Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying to meet their demands for genuine democracy and for him to step down as leader of Hong Kong. The deadline was established in recent days, a means to elicit a government response.

Wednesday marks the 65th anniversary of the establishment of the People’s Republic of China.

Occupy Central, a campaign advocating a free, independent voting process, accused the government of employing delay tactics, “clearly a disregard for public opinion,” according to a statement posted on the group’s website.

Activists, many of them students, have been camped out since late Friday, demanding that Beijing grant democratic reforms to the former British colony.

The activists have been dubbed the “umbrella revolution” by some because the crowds have used umbrellas to not only block the sun, but also to stop the police from hitting them with pepper spray.

Monday marked a relatively peaceful night. A group of musicians entertained crowds with a rendition of “Do You Hear the People Sing” from the musical Les Miserables.