Chief Executive Carrie Lam’s legislative Q&A session on her policy address has ended early amid protests from pro-democracy lawmakers.

Twelve democrats were removed from the Legislative Council (LegCo) chamber on Thursday after repeatedly chanting slogans such as “five demands, not one less.” Some wielded placards showing Lam with bloodied hands as they were dragged out of the chamber by security guards.

Ted Hui
Ted Hui. Photo:

Though an ill-fated extradition bill has been axed, city-wide protests have continued for 19 weeks. Demonstrators have been demanding accountability for alleged police brutality, amnesty for those arrested, universal suffrage and a halt to the characterisation of protests as “riots.”

Lam on Wednesday failed to give her policy address at the legislature owing to protests and resorted to delivering the speech via a video feed.

Pro-democracy legislators also bore funeral flowers and mourned the death of 15-year-old student Chan Yin-lam, who had been active in the summer’s protests. Her body was found in the sea near Yau Tong. Though police have classified the case as a suicide and not suspicious, some – including pro-democracy newspaper Apple Daily – have raised questions over the circumstances of her death.

The lawmakers asked LegCo President Andrew Leung to allow the chamber to observe a moment of silence for Chan, but the request was denied.

Legislative Council protest

Leung then ejected lawmakers Eddie Chu, Ray Chan and Claudia Mo from the chamber, despite attempts by democrats to block security guards from doing so.

Democratic Party lawmaker Ted Hui then shouted “How are you still qualified to be the chief executive?” at Lam, before he was kicked out.

Civic Party lawmaker Kwok Ka-ki asked Lam to apologise for causing the ongoing protests before speaking. Kwok was also later removed.

Pro-Beijing lawmaker Gary Chan asked Lam a question but she was unable to answer due to the disturbance.

President Andrew Leung also decided to remove lawmakers Wu Chi-wai, Andrew Wan, Leung Yiu-chung and Shiu Ka-chun, before suspending the meeting at 10:49am – less than 20 minutes into the session.

The meeting was resumed at around 11am. But democrats protested again, and Leung ejected Democratic Party lawmaker Lam Cheuk-ting before the Q&A restarted.

Gary Chan
Gary Chan. Photo:

However, disruptions continued in the chamber. As Lam was answering a question from Gary Chan of the Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong (DAB), Neo Democrats lawmaker Gary Fan rushed out of his seat and tried to hold a protest sign in front of the chief executive. Fan was removed by security shortly after.

Chan asked Lam how the government could reduce the threat posed to police officers and their families by protesters.

Lam responded saying she could not give a specific answer as to what measures could be taken but said existing laws will be reviewed to handle cases where personal data had been posted online.

LegCo storming

While asking Lam a question, DAB lawmaker Leung Che-cheung claimed that pro-democracy lawmakers led protesters into LegCo on July 1 to vandalise the building.

Leung Che-cheung
Leung Che-cheung. Photo: LegCo Screenshot.

Democrats demanded that Leung clarify his statement. Lawmaker Au Nok-hin said Leung’s comments were libellous, adding that he had tried to stop protesters from damaging the building.

Leung said he was not obligated to clarify: “What people saw on television was very clear,” he said.

Leung also accused Civic Passion lawmaker Cheng Chung-tai of leading protesters into the LegCo chamber: “Unless you tell me Cheng is not a pan-democratic lawmaker,” he added.

Pro-democracy lawmakers responded, saying that Cheng was not considered part of the pan-democratic camp.

Cheng Chung-tai
Cheng Chung-tai. Photo: LegCo Screenshot.

Cheng demanded that Leung retract his statements, saying that he was involved in a court case related to the July 1 storming and accused Leung of perverting the course of justice.

Pro-Beijing Federation of Trade Unions lawmaker Alice Mak requested a suspension of the meeting to review video recordings Leung’s comments. The request was later approved.

After the meeting was resumed, Leung said he had no need to retract his statements.

The session ended prematurely, shortly before 12pm.

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Kris Cheng is a Hong Kong journalist with an interest in local politics. His work has been featured in Washington Post, Public Radio International, Hong Kong Economic Times and others. He has a BSSc in Sociology from the Chinese University of Hong Kong. Kris is HKFP's Editorial Director.