By Aaron Au
July 1 pro-democracy rally is an annual protest organized by Civil Human Rights Front. Through the rally, participants’ carry different issues any gather together and walk from Victoria Park in Causeway Bay to the government headquarter located in Central or Admiralty.
From the Article 23 to universal suffrage and referendum, big issues were usually the main focus to attract people come out for the rally. Most of the time the organizer will put the main theme as better livelihood for the citizens and resignation of the Chief Executive. Then other small groups will set up branches inside the rally and say out their wants also. For example the same sex marriage, land monopoly, moral and national education and parallel goods traders are the problems that Hong Kongers dealing with.
Each year the number of participants in the march is a mystery. There are three different sets of data come out from the host organization, government figure and the Public Opinion Programme, The University of Hong Kong (HKUPOP) for announcing the number of protesters.
The numbers of protesters from three different organizations are very different from each other. The organizer of July 1 rally, Civic Human Right Front who is on red line, usually provides the highest number for all the time. But the government figure is always the lowest since 2003. The differences can up to 400,000. There is reason behind them to provide figures on the pole apart. One want to support their democracy protest were support by large group of people. In which to make their protest as a message to the government which many people have complains on the government policies. On the other side, they just make it as low as they can which draw less people attention. And make the echo of the rally lowest possible.
All of the figure cannot tell the real number of protesters. Thus try to use the average number of those three can be an indicator for predicting the real number of participants.
The average figure still carries a big different between the data obtained from the organizer, Civic Human Right Front. It is because they use the number of people waited in the Victoria Park mainly to be the number of participants. But the other two use some checkpoints to counts the participants. And then multiplied by certain mathematical formula to get the result. Then some of the participants leave the rally before they reach the ending point. And this is the main point to create the big different of the average participants and the host numbers.
Time for the whole time to travel from Victoria Park to Government Headquarter is direct proportional to numbers of participants. Assume more participants will cost the longer time for the whole event to finish. We can see the ups and downs for the time line and average participants are in correlations.
The tiny changes from 2005 to 2010 are a significant to show number of participants makes a longer or shorter time to finish the rally. Although the number of participants are not high but those two bar and graph are in the same shape which can tell they are in a right correlation and this can be a right prediction to get a more accurate participants number.
But after 2005, there is complain from police force said the leading team of the rally has slow down their pace which will make the data not accurate. We can separate to view the data. As they pro-long the traveling time, we have to watch the data separately before and after 2005 separately.
Number of participants and the people satisfactory towards the government are also related. From the survey data of Hong Kong people’s satisfaction with the HKSAR government obtained from HKUPOP, the higher the marks of the people feel satisfactory towards the government, the lower participants will join the rally.
From the lowest mark at 2003 can shown there is a lot of people do not satisfy with the government they announce the Article 23, the poor reactions from the officials at the SARS period and lack of public housing estate provides for people in a bad economy, people came out and join the rally to tell the government their wants. As this move make the Chief Executive step down later on. Marks have a big correlation of the people join the rally.
From the charts, we can deduce the percentage of satisfactory around 0.25 is the benchmark can draw 200,000 people out and join the rally. As the percentage and number of participants are in in-direct proportion, we can use the 0.25 as an indicator.
Convener of the rally has less relation with the participants. Neither female nor male convener can draw more attention to the public. But the university lecturer or teaching assistant tends to create more programmatic run-down for the rally.
Somehow the political background is not the consideration for the people to join the rally. Blue color of the conveners is independent from the political parties. Participants are come out for their voices for the July 1 rally most of the time but less is following of the convener to the rally.