Police detain an injured man after police dispersed a crowd in Hong Kong on Sunday. Philip Fong/AFP
A prominent Hong Kong pro-democracy activist was arrested by police, his organisation said on Monday, after a protest he helped organise in the financial district a day earlier turned violent with officers firing tear gas to disperse the crowds.
Ventus Lau was arrested on Sunday evening on charges of "obstruction of police administration" and violating terms set when permission was granted for the protest, the Hong Kong Civil Assembly Team said in a statement.
The organisers initially applied for a permit - known as a letter of no objection - for a march, but the police only agreed to a static rally in a park in the city's Central district.
But as the crowds swelled and spilled onto surrounding streets, some protesters briefly barricaded roads with umbrellas, traffic cones and other street furniture and dug up bricks from the pavement.
Police then ordered a halt to the protest and began dispersing the crowd.
"It was primarily rioters' violent acts which led to the suspension of the gathering," Senior Superintendent Ng Lok-chun told reporters.
"The organiser has violated the agreements set in the no objection letter, failed to assist in maintaining the order in the public gathering event, that is why we have arrested Mr. Lau."
Police said two community liaison officers were attacked with wooden sticks and sustained head injuries. They also said some protesters threw water bottles at officers conducting a 'stop and search' operation.
In a statement late on Sunday, the government said it "strongly condemns" the attack on the police officers.
The "Universal Siege Against Communism" demonstration was the latest in a relentless series of anti-government protests since June, when Hong Kongers took to the streets to voice their anger over a now-withdrawn extradition bill.
Organisers said 150,000 attended the demonstration, while police estimated a crowd of 11,680 at its peak.Reuters
Out in numbers before the demonstration began, police intervened promptly when the rally turned into an impromptu march. Several units of police in riot gear were seen chasing protesters and several arrests were made.
Activists have pledged to maintain the momentum of the movement that has roiled the China-ruled territory for nearly six months.
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Because of security concerns, Cher's schedule was not made public. However, she met on Friday with Prime Minister Imran Khan and was expected to visit Kaavan later in the trip, according to the prime minister's office.