Tearing a page out of ancient Chinese military philosophy, black-clad protesters in Hong Kong changed tactics and wreaked havoc by popping up in small groups in multiple locations across the city on Sunday, pursued by but also often eluding police who made scores of muscular arrests.
"Whilst we may not be able to fight alongside the young protesters in the frontline against an unjust government, escalating police violence and indiscriminate arrests, we take it to heart to uphold the core values of Hong Kong and defend the future of our younger generations", it said in a statement.
Other protesters disrupted traffic by building barricades, dispersing before police arrived to remove them, and then returning to block roads again.
Some protesters spray-painted the word "Chinazi", that has come to symbolize resistance to the authoritarian rule of the Chinese Communist Party, as pro-democracy and anti-extradition protests entered their fifth month.
There were also several violent confrontations between riot police and protesters, including an incident in which one officer was slashed in the neck from behind.
Hong Kong's protests started in opposition to a now-abandoned extradition bill but have mushroomed in four months into a pro-democracy movement and an outlet for anger at social inequality in the Asian financial hub.
As recently as last Sunday, tens of thousands of masked protesters had hit Hong Kong's rain-drenched streets.
Small protest rallies have included school children, office workers, shoppers and the elderly.
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"I think the police have been using their power to suppress the citizens", said resident Mary Lam, 26. Two teenagers were wounded with live rounds during clashes with police. She had gone missing on September 19 after attending many recent protests.
Colonial-era emergency laws were introduced a week ago banning face masks at public rallies, sparking some of the worst violence since the protests started.
Throughout the day, police found themselves berated and heckled by bystanders as they made arrests, highlighting how the force has become loathed among large parts of the population. Since September, almost 40 percent of those arrested were under the age of 18 and 10 percent under 15, Reuters news agency said.
Many shops have been shutting early to avoid becoming a target of protesters and due to closures of the metro rail system after several stations were torched and trashed.
Masked protesters wielding hammers wrecked at Huawei store that was apparently targeted because of the brand's links to mainland China.
The city enjoys unique rights under the terms of its handover to China by Britain in 1997, including freedom of expression and an independent judiciary, but many believe these are under threat from an increasingly assertive Beijing.
The protests gripping the worldwide business hub suspects to be felt in Communist Party-controlled courts in mainland China.
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