The riot police chased protesters through Hong Kong shopping malls on Sunday, when democracy activists launched Mother's Day flash mob rallies calling for independence and the city leader to step down.
The semi-autonomous Chinese city was convulsed for seven months in a row by pro-democracy protests, often violent, last year, with millions hitting the streets.
Mass arrests and the coronavirus pandemic began a period of forced calm.
But with the financial center successfully facing its outbreak, small protests broke out again in the past fortnight.
Small flashmob demonstrations broke out in at least eight shopping centers during Sunday afternoon, prompting riot police to enter and disperse crowds of activists and shoppers.
At least three arrests were made while groups of police carried out several stops and searches.
The live broadcasts also showed that the police are issuing fines in the amount of HK $ 2,000 ($ 260) on the spot for those who allegedly violate emergency anti-virus measures that prohibit more than eight people from meeting in public.
Hong Kong celebrates American Mother's Day, and protesters' chat groups pressed the occasion to focus on chief executive Carrie Lam, a legalist in Beijing.
At the beginning of last year's protests, Lam compared himself to an exasperated mother – and protesting Hong Kongers by demanding children – in comments that only poured oil into the fire of public anger at the time.
Authorities banned registration for a Mother's Day march, so small groups of masked protesters played cat and mouse with the police in different shopping centers, a tactic that was used frequently last year.