Watch Hong Kong's Poor Demand Their Say in the Way the City Is Run

After more than three weeks of pro-democracy protests that have paralyzed parts of Hong Kong, anger at the city’s leader has reached an all time high.

They were exacerbated even further when Chief Executive Leung Chun-Ying told reporters Monday that if he gave in to protesters demands and held an open election, it would result in the city’s lower-income groups dominating politics.

Leung’s comments affect half of the population of Hong Kong who earn HK$14,000 ($1,800) a month.

In response, a group of protesters made up of civil society and political organizations marched to Government House Wednesday demanding an apology.

Amy Tse Tsz-ying, a social worker, told TIME that if half of the people in society are not represented in government then Hong Kong's social problems will never improve.

"Democracy is highly related to the living conditions of grassroots people," she said.

The chances of getting an apology out of Leung are slim but the march showed that the pro-democracy movement is not just about lofty ideals but rooted in real social problems

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