On Monday, Hong Kong activists planned a rally after another weekend of unrest that saw protesters hurl petrol bombs and police fired tear gas and rubber bullets, as violence in the Chinese-ruled city shows no signs of letting up.
But tens of thousands joined the unsanctioned march regardless, showing the movement can still keep the pressure on the city's pro-Beijing leaders after almost five months of protests and political unrest.
A prominent Hong Kong lawmaker, Charles Mok, penned an open letter on Twitter criticizing the decision, saying: "I sincerely hope that Apple will choose to support its users and stop banning HKmap.live simply out of political reason [sic] or succumbing to China's influence like other American companies appear to be doing".
The police used a bomb disposal robot to blow up a cardboard box with protruding wires that they suspected was a bomb.
A prayer rally to show support for pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong on October 19, 2019. (Philip Fong/AFP via Getty Images) Hong Kong's Civil Human Rights Front leader Jimmy Sham arrives at a hospital following an attack in Hong Kong, China in this still image obtained from social media video dated October 16, 2019.
Protesters could be heard shouting slogans such as "five demands, not one less" and "Hongkongers Resist".
In a statement provided to New York Times, the Silicon Valley giant said it verified with Hong Kong law enforcement that the app was used to target and ambush police and victimize residents where they know there is no law enforcement.
On all occasions, thousands marched on despite the bans.
Protesters are angry at Hong Kong's leader Carrie Lam for what they see as her failure to protect their freedoms from an encroaching Beijing, imposing colonial-era emergency powers, and allowing what they say is excessive force by police.
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He was taken to hospital with bloody head injuries but remained conscious, the Civil Human Rights Front said on its Facebook page. "You can't do this in an global city", she said, adding she was not afraid of being arrested, Reuters reported. The protests are not just for Hong Kong.
Protesters have labeled the attacks "white terror" and accused the city's shadowy organized crime groups of forming an alliance with Beijing supporters. "Police violence against the people is unchecked, even facing accusations after accusations, never once have they admitted to wrongdoing".
The rallies were triggered by a now-abandoned plan to allow extraditions to the authoritarian mainland.
The controversial China extradition bill was withdrawn in early September but the movement has morphed into a wider campaign for greater democracy and against alleged police brutality.
Protesters are demanding an independent inquiry into the police, an amnesty for those arrested and fully free elections, all of which have been rejected by Beijing and Hong Kong's unelected leader.
Supporters sang the protest movement's anthem, waved colonial and USA flags, and held up placards depicting the Chinese flag as a Nazi swastika.
Clashes broke out as tens of thousands took to the streets for an unsanctioned anti-govt march, many furthermore defying a face mask ban presented in a expose to curb the protests.
On Sunday, massive crowds occupied thoroughfares in several districts in Kowloon and moved northwards, smashing a number of businesses linked to China including banks, a bookshop and other stores.