Hong Kong police used pepper spray and made multiple arrests today as small groups of black-clad pro-democracy protesters targeted some of the city’s malls, ending a rare lull in violence. Flashmob protests and vandalism broke out in multiple locations. Earlier, in the afternoon, an elderly woman was knocked over in the mall after a fight broke out when a shopper tried to stop protesters from spraying graffiti.
The skirmishes are the first to break out in three weeks. Hong Kong has been upended by six months of massive pro-democracy protests that have seen violent battles between police and hardcore demonstrators, as well as regular transport disruption. The past month had seen a lull in the violence and vandalism after pro-democracy parties won a landslide in local council elections.