Violent clashes broke out at the end of the march between police and a group of mostly young protesters who say they believe peaceful demonstrations have failed to bring about change.
After issuing a warning, police moved forward to disperse the crowd with pepper spray and batons. In panicky scenes, fleeing protesters scrambled over each other, some falling to the ground. Some had donned protective masks and helmets ahead of the confrontation.
Earlier, walking behind a banner that read “Strictly enforce the law, stop cross-border traders,” the marchers passed by pharmacies and cosmetic shops that are popular with Chinese tourists and traders who bring goods back to sell in the mainland. Many of the stores were shuttered because of the protest.
Major demonstrations in the past month against a proposal to change extradition laws have reawakened other movements in Hong Kong. Thousands marched last weekend against middle-aged mainland women who sing loudly and dance somewhat provocatively in a public park. Some of the women receive tips from older men.
The protests have a common refrain: Hong Kong’s government, led by a non-democratically elected chief executive, is not addressing the people’s concerns.
Amy Chan, a 25-year-old bank employee who joined Saturday’s march, called it a continuing action building on the momentum of the anti-extradition law protests.