China Underground > Magazine > China Magazine > Chaos erupts as Hong Kong independence activists fight ban to enter legislative chamber

Chaos erupts as Hong Kong independence activists fight ban to enter legislative chamber

Hong Kong Indipendence activists: HONG KONG (Reuters) – Hong Kong’s legislature descended into chaos on Wednesday as two pro-independence lawmakers defied a barring order and barged into the chamber as democrats formed a human chain around them, forcing the session to be adjourned.

The president of the Chinese-ruled city’s Legislative Council on Tuesday delayed the swearing-in of Yau Wai-ching, 25, and Baggio Leung, 30, and temporarily banned them from attending meetings, following weeks of pressure from factions loyal to Beijing.

“If we lose this war … our system is done for. We have no room to retreat,” said Leung, tears welling in his eyes.

The pair, who represent a new breed of more radical activists moving into the political mainstream, had their swearing-in oaths invalidated this month over language and a banner that was deemed derogatory to China.

“Democratically elected legislators need to take their oath,” the democrats shouted as they made their way to the meeting, while shielding Yau and Leung.

They called on council president Andrew Leung to step down, while Yau accused him of “destroying the dignity” of the council, where chaotic scenes erupted as the session descended into farce.

 

If you like this article, please help us by making a donation so that we can continue our work. Please help keep us independent.

 

Thousands of pro-Beijing loyalists rallied outside the legislature to condemn the pro-independence lawmakers. Waving China’s national flags, the protesters gave a thumbs-down sign as they shouted: “Against insulting China, against Hong Kong independence, protect national dignity.”

The former British colony of Hong Kong returned to Chinese rule in 1997 under the principle of “one country, two systems”, allowing it wide-ranging freedoms not enjoyed on the mainland.

Once a taboo topic, the issue of independence has gained momentum since pro-democracy protests in late 2014, which paralysed parts of the Asian financial centre, failed to wrangle concessions from Communist Party rulers in Beijing.

The two lawmakers insisted they had the right to enter the chamber to retake their oath of office. Council rules state that members cannot attend meetings or vote before they take the oath.

Andrew Leung said on Tuesday he would halt the pair’s swearing-in ceremony until an unprecedented judicial review had been heard.

While the High Court last weekend allowed the judicial review to go ahead, it thwarted a late-night government push for an injunction to halt the swearing-in – a move effectively overturned by Andrew Leung. The government’s writ seen by Reuters seeks to disqualify the two and vacate their seats. Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying’s decision to challenge the legislature via the judiciary demonstrates the steps the government is willing to take to quash advocacy for Hong Kong independence from China.

(Reporting by Venus Wu; Editing by Anne Marie Roantree and Greg Torode)

A pro-China protester carries a printout depicting legislator-elect Yau Wai-ching as traitor during a demonstration outside the Legislative Council in Hong Kong, China October 26, 2016.  REUTERS/Bobby Yip
A pro-China protester carries a printout depicting legislator-elect Yau Wai-ching as traitor during a demonstration outside the Legislative Council in Hong Kong, China October 26, 2016. REUTERS/Bobby Yip
Thousands of pro-China protesters demonstrate outside the Legislative Council in Hong Kong, China October 26, 2016.  REUTERS/Bobby Yip
Thousands of pro-China protesters demonstrate outside the Legislative Council in Hong Kong, China October 26, 2016. REUTERS/Bobby Yip
Pro-China protesters demonstrate outside the Legislative Council in Hong Kong, China October 26, 2016.  REUTERS/Bobby Yip
Pro-China protesters demonstrate outside the Legislative Council in Hong Kong, China October 26, 2016. REUTERS/Bobby Yip
Pro-independence legislator-elects Yau Wai-ching (R) and Baggio Leung meet reporters after the president of the legislature delayed the swearing-in of the two in Hong Kong, China October 25, 2016. REUTERS/Bobby Yip
Pro-independence legislator-elects Yau Wai-ching (R) and Baggio Leung meet reporters after the president of the legislature delayed the swearing-in of the two in Hong Kong, China October 25, 2016. REUTERS/Bobby Yip
Pro-democracy protesters display placards which read "Andrew Leung does not represent me", referring to the Legislative Council president, during a demonstration inside the council's chamber in Hong Kong, China October 26, 2016.  REUTERS/Bobby Yip
Pro-democracy protesters display placards which read “Andrew Leung does not represent me”, referring to the Legislative Council president, during a demonstration inside the council’s chamber in Hong Kong, China October 26, 2016. REUTERS/Bobby Yip
Pro-China protesters carry printouts depicting legislator-elects Baggio Leung (L, R) and Yau Wai-ching (C) as traitors during a demonstration outside the Legislative Council in Hong Kong, China October 26, 2016.  REUTERS/Bobby Yip
Pro-China protesters carry printouts depicting legislator-elects Baggio Leung (L, R) and Yau Wai-ching (C) as traitors during a demonstration outside the Legislative Council in Hong Kong, China October 26, 2016. REUTERS/Bobby Yip

 


Subscribe to China Underground and get the free magazine 'Planet China'

* indicates required

View previous campaigns.

By clicking Sign Up, you agree to our terms and conditions.

You can unsubscribe at any time by clicking the link in the footer of our emails.

We use Mailchimp as our marketing platform. By clicking below to subscribe, you acknowledge that your information will be transferred to Mailchimp for processing. Learn more about Mailchimp's privacy practices here.

Previous

A man beating a woman repeatedly in an elevator after asking not to smoke

U.S. challenges China’s imports of North Korean coal amid U.N. sanctions

Next

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.