In 2002 the Hong Kong Government proposed legislation to be enacted by July 2003 under the 23rd Article of Hong Kong's Basic Law. The article requires Hong Kong to legislate against treason and sedition. Because of the sensitive nature of such laws and China's infamous history of using them, lawyers, journalists, and democratic legislators protested against the article and demanded more thorough consultations. Consultations were conducted by Secretary for Security Regina Ip, who herself became a focus of protest for her high-handed and imperious manner in dealing with the matter. <br><br>
Against a backdrop of rising unemployment, economic downturn, SARS and tremendous discontents with the head of government, Tung Chee Hwa, opposition to Article 23 grew rapidly. Led by a coalition of democratic groups, a protest march was called for July 1, which was the sixth anniversary of Hong Kong's reunification with China. On the same day, pro-Beijing groups led by the Federation of Trade Unions, also organized a "patriotic" carnival in the park.<br><br>
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