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Hong Kong: Small Protests Renew Calls for Autonomy

Anti-government protesters stage a rally at a shopping mall in Hong Kong.

Police pursued pro-democracy protesters in shopping malls in Hong Kong, after permission for Mother’s Day march was denied.

Police pursued pro-democracy protesters in shopping malls in Hong Kong Sunday, after permission for a Mother’s Day march was denied.

As the coronavirus outbreak subsides in Hong Kong, more protesters, demonstrating against Beijing’s power in the semi-autonomous city, are answering online calls to action.

Sunday’s protests were comprised of smaller groups in multiple shopping malls in Hong Kong, singing, chanting, and holding signs while evading police officers.

At least one person was arrested, according to local media.

Smaller protests have been noted around Hong Kong in recent weeks, indicating the potential for renewed calls for autonomy seen in massive protests last year.

Political tensions have escalated in Hong Kong after Beijing's top representative office in the city said it was not bound by a law that restricts interference by other mainland Chinese agencies in the former British colony.

In recent weeks, Hong Kong’s law enforcement authorities arrested 15 pro-democracy activists, including Martin Lee, 81, a move the U.S. condemned.

Before the COVID-19 outbreak, Hong Kong was engulfed by several months of massive anti-government protests last year, initially sparked by a controversial extradition bill. The protests evolved into a demand for greater democracy.

Although the bill was later withdrawn, the demonstrations continued for months.