As the protesters gathered, police stopped and searched some and later told them to leave, saying they were violating coronavirus social-distancing rules. The police then used pepper spray while dispersing the crowd before cordoning off the atrium of the mall.
The protest was one of several small ones that went ahead on the May 1 Labor Day holiday despite rules that forbid public gatherings of more than four people.
Protesters also gathered near Kowloon’s Mong Kok and Kwun Tong subway stations. Organisers had planned for nationwide demonstrations, but the idea was called off.
The demonstrations are a continuation of a movement that began last June to protest an extradition bill that would have allowed detainees in Hong Kong to be transferred to mainland China. Although the bill was later withdrawn, the demonstrations continued for months before a lull starting in January as the coronavirus pandemic broke out.