Hong Kong protesters threw bricks and gasoline bombs at police, who responded with tear gas, as chaotic scenes returned to the summer-long anti-government protests on Saturday for the first time in nearly two weeks, the AP reports. Hundreds of black-clad protesters armed with bamboo poles and baseball bats fought with police officers wielding batons on a main road following a march against "smart lampposts" that was sparked by surveillance fears. The chaotic scenes unfolded outside a police station and a nearby shopping mall as officers in riot gear faced off with protesters who set up makeshift street barricades. The violence interrupted nearly two weeks of calm in Hong Kong, which has been gripped by a turbulent pro-democracy movement since June.
Police fired tear gas to disperse the crowd after repeated warnings "went futile," the government said in a statement. By early evening, most of the protesters had dispersed, though clashes flared up in other neighborhoods. Earlier in the day, some protesters attacked a smart lamppost, fearing it could contain facial-recognition software to be used against them; the government says they only collect data on traffic, weather, and air quality. The night before, protesters lined the streets and part of the city's harbor front Friday, inspired by a human chain in a historic Baltic states protest against Soviet control 30 years ago, per the AP. Organizers hoped the chains, which traced three subway routes, would total 25 miles in length.
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