Clashes erupted in Hong Kong's main shopping district on Sunday afternoon as protesters took to the streets to rally against Beijing's planned national security law for the semi-autonomous city. Defying police warnings and bans on social gatherings because of the coronavirus pandemic, thousands of people gathered outside the Sogo department store in Causeway Bay. They chanted slogans such as "Fight for freedom. Stand with Hong Kong" and "Liberate Hong Kong. Revolution of our time." Some set up roadblocks to paralyze traffic in the area.
Riot police fired rounds of tear gas and employed water cannons to disperse the crowd. Pro-democracy activist Tam Tak-chi was arrested on charges of conducting an unauthorized assembly. About 120 people have been arrested for taking part in an unlawful assembly, according to the Hong Kong Police Force, while officers were conducting stop-and-search operations across Hong Kong island. The gathering is the first large-scale protest against the central government in Beijing since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic earlier this year.