Pan-democratic lawmakers staged a walkout at the Legislative Council today after a House Committee meeting devolved into arguments, brawls, and the mass ejection of their fellow democrats.
Tensions flared immediately as DAB chairwoman Starry Lee ran to the podium after an education panel meeting ended at 1:15pm, one hour and fifteen minutes before the House Committee meeting was scheduled to start, SCMP reports. Lee, who has not been allowed to preside over meetings since her term as House Committee chairwoman expired in October, was circled by pro-establishment allies and LegCo security staff, who preventing democratic lawmakers from coming near her.
As arguments broke out between the opposing sides, democratic lawmakers toted placards dubbing Lee the “Ultra Vires [sic]”, while pro-Beijing lawmakers like Junius Ho held signs calling for Dennis Kwok’s disqualification from the council. Many democratic lawmakers who attempted to break past Lee’s circle got into scuffles with their pro-Beijing counterparts, including People Power’s Ray Chan, who was dragged by his shirt collar for several meters by pro-establishment councilor Kwok Wai-keung.
— RTHK English News (@rthk_enews) May 8, 2020
Over the four-hour meeting, Lee ordered for 10 pan-democrats (including Chan, Eddie Chu, Ted Hui, Andrew Wan, and Helena Wong) to be forcibly removed from the chamber by LegCo security. Wan was reportedly injured in the process and was taken away on a stretcher by paramedics, while Chan posted on Twitter that he had to go to hospital after being dragged by Kwok.
Lee and her fellow pro-Beijing lawmakers cleared 14 bills during the meeting. They did not include the controversial National Anthem bill, which would require people to “stand solemnly” during the national anthem and make any amendment to the lyrics, parodies, or “inappropriate” use of the anthem a crime.
The meeting, which was livestreamed by a number of broadcasters and media outlets, immediately drew the ire of Hong Kong’s pro-democracy crowd, hundreds of whom turned out to luxury malls after work tonight for impromptu “Dinner With You” sing-along protests. Others took to Animal Crossing to express their feelings about the meeting:
— Rachel Cheung (@rachel_cheung1) May 8, 2020
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