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Flash mobs are breaking out in Hong Kong as protests against the government resume

Protests against the government resumed in Hong Kong when restrictions in the city began to ease after a period of forced calm following the coronavirus pandemic.

Riot police chased protesters through Hong Kong’s malls and streets on Sunday as democracy activists launched Mother’s Day flash mob rallies calling for independence and the dismissal of the city’s unpopular leader.

The semi-autonomous Chinese city was baffled last year by seven consecutive months of often violent pro-democracy protests with millions taking to the streets

Anti-government protesters wearing protective masks sing songs and gestures during a shopping mall demonstration today. Since the worst of the current coronavirus pandemic has passed, new protests against the Hong Kong government have recently begun to surface

Anti-government protesters wearing protective masks sing songs and gestures during a shopping mall demonstration today. Since the worst of the current coronavirus pandemic has passed, new protests against the Hong Kong government have recently begun to surface

Riot police wearing protective masks on a street during a demonstration in Mongkok district on Sunday

Riot police wearing protective masks on a street during a demonstration in Mongkok district on Sunday

Riot police wearing protective masks on a street during a demonstration in Mongkok district on Sunday

A demonstrator for democracy (center) is held on the ground before being arrested by secret police during a protest calling for city independence in Hong Kong's Mong Kok district

A demonstrator for democracy (center) is held on the ground before being arrested by secret police during a protest calling for city independence in Hong Kong's Mong Kok district

A demonstrator for democracy (center) is held on the ground before being arrested by secret police during a protest calling for city independence in Hong Kong’s Mong Kok district

Mass arrests and the coronavirus pandemic heralded a period of calm.

But now that the financial hub has successfully tackled the outbreak, minor protests have re-emerged in the past two weeks.

On Sunday afternoon, small flash mob demonstrations broke out in at least eight shopping malls, forcing riot police to rush and expel the masses of activists and shoppers.

At least three arrests were made while groups of officers made multiple stops and searches.

A cleaner wipes the handle of an escalator while riot police patrol a shopping mall demonstration on May 10

A cleaner wipes the handle of an escalator while riot police patrol a shopping mall demonstration on May 10

A cleaner wipes the handle of an escalator while riot police patrol a shopping mall demonstration on May 10

Anti-government protesters wearing protective masks sing songs and gestures during a shopping mall demonstration on May 10

Anti-government protesters wearing protective masks sing songs and gestures during a shopping mall demonstration on May 10

Anti-government protesters wearing protective masks sing songs and gestures during a shopping mall demonstration on May 10

Riot police with protective masks stand guard during a demonstration at a shopping mall on May 10

Riot police with protective masks stand guard during a demonstration at a shopping mall on May 10

Riot police with protective masks stand guard during a demonstration at a shopping mall on May 10

Live broadcasts also showed that police fined $ 2,000 ($ 260) on the spot to those who allegedly breached emergency virus measures that banned more than eight people in public.

Hong Kong is celebrating Mother’s Day, and protesters’ chat groups had urged the opportunity to focus on CEO Carrie Lam, a loyalist in Beijing.

At the beginning of last year’s protests, Lam compared himself to an annoyed mother – and Hong Kongers protested demanding children – in comments that at the time only fueled the flames of public anger.

Riot police are detaining a group of people during a demonstration in Mongkok district on May 10

Riot police are detaining a group of people during a demonstration in Mongkok district on May 10

Riot police are detaining a group of people during a demonstration in Mongkok district on May 10

Riot police are arresting members of the media during a demonstration in Mongkok district

Riot police are arresting members of the media during a demonstration in Mongkok district

Riot police are arresting members of the media during a demonstration in Mongkok district

Riot police are detaining a group of people in Mongkok. Authorities have banned an application for a Mother's Day march, so small groups of masked protesters instead played cat and mouse with the police in several malls, a tactic widely used last year

Riot police are detaining a group of people in Mongkok. Authorities have banned an application for a Mother's Day march, so small groups of masked protesters instead played cat and mouse with the police in several malls, a tactic widely used last year

Riot police are detaining a group of people in Mongkok. Authorities have banned an application for a Mother’s Day march, so small groups of masked protesters instead played cat and mouse with the police in several malls, a tactic widely used last year

The authorities have banned an application for a Mother’s Day march so that small groups of masked protesters instead played cat and mouse with the police in various shopping centers, a tactic widely used last year.

“This is just a warm-up, our protest movement needs to start over,” a university student who called his name “B” told AFP.

“It’s a sign that the movement is coming back to life, we all need to wake up now.”

Clashes hit the streets in the evening, with police using bats and pepper spray in the bustling MongKok commercial district and making more arrests, including a pro-democracy legislator.

Riot police wearing protective masks on a street during a demonstration in Mongkok district on May 10

Riot police wearing protective masks on a street during a demonstration in Mongkok district on May 10

Riot police wearing protective masks on a street during a demonstration in Mongkok district on May 10

Riot police are detaining protesters in Mongkok on Sunday evening. Clashes hit the streets in the evening, with police using bats and pepper spray in the bustling MongKok commercial district and making more arrests, including a pro-democracy legislator

Riot police are detaining protesters in Mongkok on Sunday evening. Clashes hit the streets in the evening, with police using bats and pepper spray in the bustling MongKok commercial district and making more arrests, including a pro-democracy legislator

Riot police are detaining protesters in Mongkok on Sunday evening. Clashes hit the streets in the evening, with police using bats and pepper spray in the bustling MongKok commercial district and making more arrests, including a pro-democracy legislator

Riot police wearing protective masks are securing an area during a crowd control operation in Mongkok district on May 10

Riot police wearing protective masks are securing an area during a crowd control operation in Mongkok district on May 10

Riot police wearing protective masks are securing an area during a crowd control operation in Mongkok district on May 10

Lam, unconditionally backed by Beijing, has a low number of approvals.

She has opposed calls for universal suffrage or an independent investigation into the handling of protests by the police.

In the new year, she vowed to heal the divisions that flow through Hong Kong, but her government has offered little reconciliation or a political solution.

Riot police with protective masks stand guard during a demonstration at a shopping mall on May 10

Riot police with protective masks stand guard during a demonstration at a shopping mall on May 10

Riot police with protective masks stand guard during a demonstration at a shopping mall on May 10

Riot police wearing protective masks patrol a demonstration at a mall on May 10

Riot police wearing protective masks patrol a demonstration at a mall on May 10

Riot police wearing protective masks patrol a demonstration at a mall on May 10

Plans to pass a law banning offending the national anthem of China sparked controversy in the city's legislature on Friday

Plans to pass a law banning offending the national anthem of China sparked controversy in the city's legislature on Friday

Plans to pass a law banning offending the national anthem of China sparked controversy in the city’s legislature on Friday

Arrests and prosecutions continued quickly, as Beijing’s offices in the city sparked a constitutional feud last month by giving more control over the way Hong Kong is run.

Plans to pass a law banning offending the national anthem of China sparked controversy in the city’s legislature on Friday.

Top officials in Beijing have suggested that opposition lawmakers who have blocked the filibustering bill could be prosecuted and have also called for the adoption of a new anti-sedition law.

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