Hong Kong riot police arrested dozens of people on Thursday (October 1), as they tried to stop anti-government marchers gathering at China national day celebrations.
Police had banned the protest, citing coronavirus restrictions on group gatherings and violence at previous marches.
Hundreds of officers conducted stop-and-search activities and cordoned off areas.
"Today is a day for national mourning. What should we celebrate? Hong Kong has become a place like this, what's worth us celebrating? Right?"
Protesters wanted to march against Beijing's imposition of a sweeping national security law on June 30 and demand the return of 12 Hong Kong people who were arrested at sea by Chinese authorities in August as they tried to reach self-ruled Taiwan.
Thursday's protests came even as Chief Executive Carrie Lam said -- at a flag raising ceremony earlier in the day -- that stability had returned to the city.
''During the last three months we have been able to see clearly in front of our eyes how peace has returned to society, as the national security has been safeguarded in the city. Once again the people can enjoy their basic rights and freedom in the society in accordance to the law.''
China's National Day on October 1 is resented by Hong Kong's pro-democracy activists.
But for pro-Beijing supporters, it is an opportunity to drum up patriotism in China's most restive city.