Protesters armed with shields threw Molotov cocktails at the police, who responded with a water cannon and throwing tear gas canisters.
Thousands of Hong Kong prodemocracy activists defied Saturday the ban on protests and took to the streets of the former British colony, the day after the arrest of several figures of the movement.
It is by citing the scuffles last Sunday, among the most serious since the beginning of the protest in June, that the police justified the decision to ban the event scheduled for Saturday. The authorities, however, warned the population against the risk of "serious disturbances".
To circumvent the ban, calls had been made to organize religious gatherings on the island of Hong Kong, which do not require the same authorizations. And early in the afternoon, several thousand people were gathered in a particular stadium in the Wanchai district (center).
Worst crisis since the handover to China
Hong Kong has been experiencing its worst crisis for nearly three months since it was handed over to China in 1997, with almost daily actions that have sometimes degenerated. An unprecedented situation that authorities in the semi-autonomous region are struggling to meet.
This Saturday marked the fifth anniversary of Beijing's refusal to hold universal suffrage elections in Hong Kong. This decision was the trigger forUmbrella movement"of 2014, which had been marked by 79 days of occupation of the financial and political heart of the city.
The demonstration was convened by the Civilian Front for Human Rights (FCHR), a non-violent organization that has been behind the biggest gatherings in recent months. In particular that of August 18 which had gathered 1.7 million people according to the organizers, without any overflow.
In addition to the ban on demonstrations, the prodemocracy movement was saturated in Saturday with the blow of the net of the day before, in which five prominent activists and three deputies were arrested.