Six million protesters bringing downtown Hong Kong to a standstill in August
Overhead photos show the vast scale of 6 million protesters bringing downtown Hong Kong to a standstill on Sunday, 29 August Reuters

While the use of flying drones, particularly to film video footage from the air is only permitted by special permission from aviation authorities in the US and UK, in many parts of the world, legislation about this technology is not yet considered a top priority.

As such, drone operators are able to get away with using flying unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) in urban areas like Hong Kong, where flying drones have been used to capture the scale of the pro-democracy protests that brought the city to a standstill on Sunday, despite tear gas intervention by police.

The four-minute-long video clip shows six million protesters swarming over empty roads and highways, attending impromptu rallies in downtown Hong Kong calling for the present Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying to step down.

The protesters stayed in the streets throughout the night, many choosing to sleep on the roads, as part of the "Occupy Central" campaign.

The footage has been uploaded to HK Apple Daily, a YouTube channel live-broadcasting rallies and protests from the streets.

Another video report, put together using drone footage, shows protesters fighting against the police and using umbrellas to shield themselves from tear gas attacks. HK Apple Daily also claims that the police used AR15 semi-automatic rifles to "intimidate peaceful protesters".

The protests have come about due to concerns that the Chinese government in Beijing is seeking to interfere in the Hong Kong Chief Executive elections in 2017, rejecting several locally-nominated candidates.

Over 13,000 university students have been boycotting classes for one week since last Monday to protest China's ruling that election candidates must be vetted and approved by a nominating committee in mainland China.

The Chinese government has blocked photo-sharing app Instagram in mainland China to prevent citizens from being able to search for news about the Hong Kong protests, such as to search for "Hong Kong teargas".