Some demonstrators linked arms and legs in an attempt

The sit-in came after tens of thousands of protesters marched on Tuesday in what was described as the city's largest democracy rally in a decade.

The annual rally, marking the day Hong Kong was returned to China in 1997, was to demand full electoral freedom.

Organisers said turnout at the rally was 510,000, while police said about 98,600 took part during the peak of the march.

After the main march had ended, hundreds of protesters staged a sit-in in the city's Central district.

"All of us here fight for democracy, fight for universal suffrage," said protester Edward Fung.

Police said the sit-in was "unauthorised" and began removing some of the participants in the early hours of Wednesday.

Some demonstrators linked arms and legs in an attempt to stop police from moving them. Agencies report that some activists were kicking and screaming as they were removed individually by small groups of policemen.

But the South China Morning Post said at least one group of activists had promised to leave by 08:00. Some unlinked arms at that time and were escorted away by police.

Police said a total of 511 demonstrators - 351 men and 160 women - were arrested in the operation to clear the area.

The main area where the sit-in took place, Chater Road, was cleared by around 08:30 on Wednesday, according to the Post.

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