A pro-democracy lawmaker has been kicked out of the Legislative Council chamber as the battle over the controversial changes to the legislature’s house rules nears its end.
Before the meeting started on Friday, pro-democracy lawmaker Eddie Chu attempted to charge into the president’s seat, but he was stopped by security guards who backed him against the wall.
Following that, Democratic Party lawmaker Ted Hui put a rape alarm into his drawer, allowing it to sound.
LegCo President Andrew Leung asked him to hand over the key of his drawer, but he refused. Hui then left the chamber, and Leung banned him from the chamber for the day over “serious misconduct.” The device was removed by guards using a backup key.
The incident came after a similar one on Thursday night, when lawmaker Shiu Ka-chun took out a rape alarm, saying that he hoped to give a “final warning” to Hong Kong people.
He said the current battle to strip lawmakers of their power was akin to the 1933 Enabling Act of Germany, which gave Adolf Hitler his dictatorial power. The Communist and Social Democrat members of the German legislature were not able to vote after the infamous Reichstag fire.
“We have to wake people up,” he said, as pro-democracy members passed the alarm around.
Guards tried to block lawmakers Ray Chan and Ted Hui from passing it. The meeting was suspended for ten minutes when lawmaker Claudia Mo fell to the ground after she clashed with guards.
According to InMedia, on Friday afternoon, lawmaker Eddie Chu continued the protest by raising a banner saying: “Refuse to be the National People’s Congress,” a reference to China’s largely rubber-stamp parliament.
He also continued to sound a rape alarm, and refused to leave when acting president Starry Lee gave him three warnings. Instead, he chained himself to his chair. Security guards were forced to use a saw to remove the chains and carry Chu out.
Limited speaking time
Changes to the Rules of Procedure have been proposed mostly by the pro-Beijing camp in order to curb filibustering by democrats.
The pro-democracy camp does not have enough votes to block any modifications after six of its democratically-elected lawmakers were disqualified by a court following government legal action. The changes could rob them of power to block bills or to form certain investigative committees.
The pro-democracy camp only has several time slots left to speak. It may take around three hours for them to do so on Friday.
Pro-Beijing camp lawmakers also queued to speak on the issue three days after the meetings started to explain their reasons for the rule change.
Update 14:30: This article was updated to include lawmaker Eddie Chu’s protest and subsequent removal from the chamber Friday afternoon.