Hundreds of protesters repeated their strategy of impromptu street protests on Saturday evening, playing cat-and-mouse with police around the streets of Kowloon.

Photo: May James/HKFP.

Earlier in the day, demonstrators marched from To Kwa Wan to Whampoa despite rainy weather.

Photo: May James/HKFP.

The march adopted a new, shorter route after police expressed objection to the initial plans.

“Reclaim Hung Hom and To Kwa Wan, give me back my peaceful community,” some protesters chanted.

Photo: May James/HKFP.

The protest was originally meant to focus on community issues, as some residents complained of the effect of mainland tourists – including traffic hazards and the impact on local businesses.

However, the theme of the march evolved to match the public outcry on issues such as government accountability and the police use of force.

Photo: May James/HKFP.

Starting from around 3:30pm, thousands marched from Hoi Sham Park in To Kwa Wan to the Whampoa MTR station.

Photo: May James/HKFP.

During the protest, some participants vandalised the branch offices of the pro-Beijing DAB party, as well as the Federation of Trade Unions (FTU).

Photo: May James/HKFP.

Some protesters hurled eggs at the premises as crowds passed.

Photo: May James/HKFP.

Pineapples – which in Cantonese could be slang for homemade explosives – were placed outside the FTU office, as a critique of the party’s historical involvement in the leftist riots of 1967.

Photo: May James/HKFP.

Shortly after the first group of protesters reached the approved destination, around 100 of them turned back and headed towards Kowloon City.

“Whampoa Garden is private property, police should not enter unless authorised.” Photo: May James/HKFP.

They then moved to Mong Kok, taking over sections of Nathan Road as they walked south to Jordan.

Photo: May James/HKFP.

“We will continue to cause disturbances and start non-cooperation movements until the government responds,” one protester surnamed Lai told HKFP.

Photo: May James/HKFP.

Meanwhile, some protesters engaged in a standoff against police in riot gear at Mong Kok police station.

Photo: May James/HKFP.

Protesters threw eggs and other objects at the building’s exterior and shone laser pointers.

Photo: May James/HKFP.

Police officers who stood guard at the station’s entrance often had to duck behind their shields to avoid projectiles.

Photo: May James/HKFP.

Shortly after 7pm, riot police arrived at the scene and began clearance operations.

Photo: May James/HKFP.

The bulk of police manpower was deployed on Nathan Road, though many protesters had already retreated into the side streets.

Photo: May James/HKFP.

A police officer was seen firing a beanbag round after someone allegedly threw a trash can at advancing officers from a pedestrian flyover.

“Tonight there’s not really any point in clashing. We need a stronger numerical advantage to have a fighting chance,” said one protester who did not wish to be identified.

Photo: May James/HKFP.

Riot police ended their clearance operation after arriving in Yau Ma Tei, with relatively few head-to-head clashes between police and protesters.

Photo: May James/HKFP.

Police have not announced any injuries or arrests as of 9:40pm on Saturday.

Photo: May James/HKFP.

The reporting room service of Mong Kok, Hung Hom and Tsim Sha Tsui police stations were temporarily suspended, and some shops in the neighbourhood drew their shutters.

Photo: May James/HKFP.

The clearance operation provoked the ire of some passers-by, who chanted “black cops” and “triad” at the officers.

Photo: May James/HKFP.

At the To Kwa Wan march, one common slogan was “818” – a reference to the rally planned for Victoria Park the next day.

Photo: May James/HKFP.

Sunday’s rally will act as a show of strength and an important gauge of public opinion, a protester told HKFP.

A spent bean bag round found in Mong Kok. Photo: May James/HKFP.

Hong Kong has been rocked by over two months of anti-government demonstrations and unrest, as protesters demand a full withdrawal of the ill-fated extradition law bill. Demonstrators are asking for a complete withdrawal of the city’s controversial extradition bill, as well as universal suffrage and an investigation into alleged police brutality.

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Holmes Chan

Holmes Chan is a reporter at Hong Kong Free Press. He covers local news with a focus on law, politics, and social movements. He studied law and literature at the University of Hong Kong.