Thousands of protesters occupied Central in a rally against the pro-democracy Occupy Central movement yesterday. However, Now TV, Cable TV, TVB, Oriental Daily and the Economic Journal each discovered instances of demonstrators being paid up to HK$480 or offered freebies to attend.
Many attendees had been mobilised by ethnic groups, leftist organisations, pro-government political parties and even businesses.
Police said that 110,600 attended – more than their estimate for the July 1st pro-democracy march, which they put at 98,600. HKUPOP estimated that 79,000-88,000 attended whilst organisers claimed 193,000 took part. A single SocREC reporter conducted a nonstop headcount, estimating a turnout of 41,250.