Hong Kong police said on Sunday they had arrested 20 people for unlawful assembly and assault during the previous night’s protests. Clashes between demonstrators and authorities continued into the early hours of Sunday morning after some protesters ignored police appeals to stick to the designated route.

The first of two planned rallies got underway on Sunday afternoon. A second protest also was expected later ahead of a general strike expected to take place on Monday.

Read more: Hong Kong strike: Can protesters shut down the city?

General strike on August 5 in Hong Kong's seven districts

Nine weeks of protests

What started as demonstrations against a controversial extradition law has blossomed into a movement fighting for expanded democratic rightsand autonomy.

Recent protests have started to turn violent, with police taking bolder actions to disperse protesters, including firing rubber bullets and arresting dozens of participants.

Thousands of demonstrators dressed in black on Sunday marched peacefully in the town of Tseung Kwan O brandishing colourful banners and leaflets.

“We’re trying to tell the government to [withdraw] the extradition bill and to police to stop the investigations and the violence,” said technology student Gabriel Lee. 

Read more: Hong Kong pro-democracy movement — going from strength to strength

Reward offered for information about ‘insane’ protester

During Saturday’s protests, several people scaled a flag pole, removed a Chinese flag and threw it into the iconic Victoria Harbour. Hong Kong’s former leader CY Leung has offered 1 million Hong Kong dollars ($127,720) for information about those involved.

Leung said that the act will provoke “enormous resentment from the entire nation.” He pledged the cash award to anyone who provides clues about the “insane person” behind it.

Read more: Hong Kong protesters: ‘We will stand together and never give up’

kw/aw (AP, AFP, Reuters)

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