Hong Kong protesters defy police with rallies

Police in Hong Kong fired tear gas on Saturday at pro-democracy protesters who defied orders to cancel a rally and blocked intersections across the city in “hit-and-run” demonstrations.

The new protests came after the city’s leader warned she would grant no concessions to the demonstrators, whose movement is now in its third month.

Activists who have embraced the mantra “Be Water” took their commitment to flexible protest action to new heights, splitting up into groups to spread quickly across the city and block roads. They gathered first in the Tai Po district, despite police denying their request for a march permit there, and quickly faced off against officers dressed in riot gear.

But before any clashes erupted, the demonstrators retreated and split into smaller groups, heading to different locations across the city to block roads and chanting “reclaim Hong Kong, revolution of our times”.

The fresh protests mark the 10th weekend that demonstrators have taken to the streets in a movement that began in opposition to a bill allowing extradition to mainland China but has become a call for greater democratic freedoms.