July 27 (UPI) -- Hong Kong police fired tear gas and made arrests during an unauthorized demonstration of about 10,000 people, some of whom were injured, in a small town on the northern border with China on Saturday.
In the northern district of Yuen Long, protesters marched, decrying an attack by a mob wielding iron bars and bamboo sticks on the same roads six days earlier, BBC reported.
On Sunday, at least 36 people were injured as pro-democracy protesters, journalists and bystanders were attacked by a mob of weapon-wielding masked assailants in white T-shirts.
The area, which is known for smuggling goods and people, is 6 miles from the border with China.
Saturday's march was the eighth consecutive weekend of major protests in Hong Kong.
Protesters first demanded the withdrawal of a bill to extradite citizens to the mainland to face courts there. Earlier this month, Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam declared the extradition law that has caused protests throughout the island "dead."
Protests have now centered on ousting Lam, greater democracy, and an independent investigation into alleged police brutality and last weekend's beatings.
On Saturday, about a dozen men were arrested, some of whom were linked to organized crime groups, or triads.
There was no police presence for almost an hour.
Around 5 p.m., police began firing tear gas in an attempt to disperse the crowd, most of whom wore masks and hard hats. In return, they threw projectiles and swore at police but broke up to allow ambulances to go through.
Protesters chanted "There is no riot only a tyranny" and "Hong Kong Police, the lawbreakers" as they thronged through the town in sweltering summer temperatures.
One Yuen Long resident told the BBC that a relative working on the police force had warned her ahead of the attack not to wear black clothes.
Most young protesters wore hard yellow helmets and protective gear.
"Today protesters are very afraid that the triads will come out at night to beat people, so we hope they won't just act against citizens, but also help protect citizens," Eddie Chu, a pro-democratic lawmaker who represents rural areas like Yuen Long, told the Los Angeles Times. "The police have promised me that they'll stay tonight."
Protesters were denied a letter of no objection, citing safety concerns.
"I never thought this would happen [here]," one shop employee told CNN. "The Yuen Long of my memory is a place full of warmth. Everyone is very friendly, people will always help each other."
Umbrellas, which date to the Occupy Central protests in 2014, have been used to help protesters conceal their identities from police cameras as well as shields against tear gas and pepper spray.