Within seconds of Chief Executive Carrie Lam entering the Legislative Council chamber on Wednesday morning for her Policy Address, four opposition lawmakers were removed by security guards, while eight others walked out.
Claudia Mo, Ray Chan, Au Nok-hin and Chu Hoi-dick were shouting and waving banners, among other things calling for press freedom, a universal pension scheme, and no reclamation east of Lantau.
Civic Party legislators held up placards saying “Safeguard press freedom, stop suppressing journalists”, a reference to the government's decision not to renew the work visa for Financial Times journalist Victor Mallet.
Legco president Andrew Leung called security guards to take Mo, Chan, Au and Chu out of the chamber.
Eight other pro-democracy councillors walked out of their own accord before Lam was able to begin her speech just a couple of minutes late.
"We are trying to express our strongest anger and dissatisfaction against Carrie Lam's way of responding to the Victor Mallet controversy. The way she's been talking about it is almost like a thuggish way, [saying] according to international practice we don't need to give any explanation. This is just not right," Mo said.
The Hong Kong First legislator, who is the new convenor of the pro-democracy camp, also referred to the fact that no-one from the Democratic Party joined the walk-out.
"We can only say that while practising democracy, we have to accommodate dissent."
Lawmakers removed from Legco, others walk out
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