Rallies erupted in multiple neighbourhoods, with some protesters blocking roads, sabotaging train tracks, and trashing pro-China businesses.

Police said an officer was taken to hospital after his neck was slashed. Local television networks also broadcast footage of a man beaten bloody by protesters after they found a baton in his bag and suspected him of being an undercover officer.

Rallies erupted in multiple Hong Kong neighbourhoods with some protesters blocking roads, throwing objects onto train tracks as well as spraying graffiti and smashing the windows of some pro-China businesses Rallies erupted in multiple Hong Kong neighbourhoods with some protesters blocking roads, throwing objects onto train tracks as well as spraying graffiti and smashing the windows of some pro-China businesses Photo: AFP / Mohd RASFAN

Police have increasingly posed as protesters, scoring some tactical successes and sparking widespread paranoia among frontline demonstrators.

During cat-and-mouse encounters on Sunday officers made dozens of arrests, but there were fewer protesters than have taken to the streets more recently during the four-month long protest movement.

Throughout the day, Hong Kong police found themselves berated and heckled by bystanders as they made arrests Throughout the day, Hong Kong police found themselves berated and heckled by bystanders as they made arrests Photo: AFP / DALE DE LA REY

In Mongkok, a bustling shopping district on the Kowloon peninsula, officers burst from an unmarked van over a blockade of bamboo scaffolding and quickly chased down multiple protesters.

Later, an AFP reporter in the neighbourhood saw protesters beat a woman earlier accused of helping police clear barricades.

Street battles between riot police and small groups of hardcore protesters have become a weekly occurrence in Hong Kong Street battles between riot police and small groups of hardcore protesters have become a weekly occurrence in Hong Kong Photo: AFP / Anthony WALLACE

The woman was struck with fists and umbrellas, and also had her face smeared with mud.

Protesters in Hong Kong are pushing for an independent inquiry into the police, an amnesty for the more than 2,500 people arrested and universal suffrage Protesters in Hong Kong are pushing for an independent inquiry into the police, an amnesty for the more than 2,500 people arrested and universal suffrage Photo: AFP / DALE DE LA REY

Protesters have increasingly turned on their ideological opponents in recent weeks, while Beijing loyalists have attacked democracy activists throughout the summer.

'Blossom everywhere'

Online forums used to organise the largely leaderless movement advertised Sunday as a "blossom everywhere" day, encouraging activists to gather in malls across the city.

A four-metre statue known as "Lady Liberty" is placed by pro-democracy protesters on the top of Lion Rock, a Hong Kong landmark A four-metre statue known as "Lady Liberty" is placed by pro-democracy protesters on the top of Lion Rock, a Hong Kong landmark Photo: AFP / Anthony WALLACE

Protests and clashes were reported in half a dozen neighbourhoods, with police saying they fired tear gas during two incidents.

While the crowds were thinner, the flashmob tactics stretched police resources and still brought chaos to parts of the city for a 19th consecutive weekend.

Photo: AFPTV / Anthony WALLACE

Throughout the day, police found themselves berated and heckled by bystanders as they made arrests, highlighting how the force has become loathed and pilloried by large parts of the population.

"I'm furious," a female protester, who gave her surname as Chan, told AFP. "I want the government to disband the entire police force."

Hong Kong has been shaken by four months of massive democracy protests which have seen increasingly violent clashes between hardcore demonstrators and police, as well as regular transport disruptions.

The protests were sparked by opposition to a now-scrapped proposal to allow extraditions to mainland China, but have since morphed into a larger movement for democracy and police accountability.

Spiralling violence

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.

Street battles between riot police and small groups of protesters have become a weekly occurrence, hammering the already struggling economy, spooking tourists and undermining Hong Kong's reputation for stability.

The beginning of October saw a particularly fierce period of unrest with protesters upping their violence as Communist China celebrated its 70th birthday party.

Clashes further intensified after the city's leader invoked colonial-era emergency laws to ban face masks at protests.

Over the course of a week, protesters went on a vandalism spree, much of it targeting the city's subway network and pro-China businesses.

Police also increased their response, firing tear gas and rubber bullets with renewed ferocity. Two teenagers were wounded with live rounds during clashes with police.

But the last few days have seen a comparatively calmer period.

Beijing, and city leader Carrie Lam, repeatedly rejected those demands.