Police fire tear gas on protesters in Hong Kong on Sunday. Photo: Isaac Lawrence/AFP via Getty Images

Hong Kong police used tear gas on thousands of protesters marching through the city on Sunday against China's plans to implement a national security law, per The Guardian.

Of note: This is the biggest mass gathering since Beijing's encroachment on Hong Kong's independent legal system sparked huge protests last year. Reuters reported earlier that police warned protesters not to break the ban on gatherings of more than eight people, a restriction imposed to curb the spread of the coronavirus.

Details: Police arrested at least one leading activist over the gatherings ban. Police said they arrested Tam Tak-chi for holding "an unauthorized assembly," according to AP.

  • Protesters chanted for "an end to one party dictatorship" outside a Chinese government office, Reuters notes.

The big picture: China is bypassing Hong Kong's legislature and chief executive to introduce the law — which could severely constrain the autonomy the former British colony has retained since it was returned to China in 1997, per Axios' Bethany Allen-Ebrahimian and Dave Lawler. It's expected to be passed on May 28.

  • Beijing's encroachment on Hong Kong's independent legal system sparked huge protests last year. Rallies had resumed on a smaller scale as social-distancing measures were lifted before this latest protest.

Go deeper: The year of the protest meets the year of the lockdown

Editor's note: This article has been updated with new details throughout.

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