Carrie Lam

Protests mar town hall sessions

PUBLISHED : Monday, 09 July, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 09 July, 2012, 12:00am


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Chief Secretary Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor's press secretary was taken away by police yesterday as scuffles and noisy protests marred the second round of town hall-style meetings organised by the Leung Chun-ying administration.

Gilford Law Sun-on, 38, was seen tackling a protester who was chasing Lam's car after she left her 'meet the people' session in Ap Lei Chau.

Police confirmed last night that they were investigating an assault report, but no-one had been charged.

Earlier, in Wong Tai Sin, dozens of raucous protesters, many of them activists from the League of Social Democrats and People Power, mobbed the Tung Tau Community Centre, where the chief executive led his housing minister Professor Anthony Cheung Bing-leung to exchange views with a full-house, 200-strong audience.

On Leung's arrival at about 1pm, League legislator 'Long Hair' Leung Kwok-hung was forced back by police officers as he brandished a folding stool with the chief executive's picture and a banner demanding Leung to step down. The folding stool, according to the protesters, symbolised their calls for Leung to 'fold up'.

Once inside the venue, Leung shook hands with a few protesters and received their petitions, as shouts of 'Down Down C.Y.' echoed around the hall.

As he left, protesters mobbed Leung's car, triggering minor scuffles as policemen escorted the chief executive away. One protester claimed one of his teeth was chipped during the scuffles and threatened to sue police for compensation.

For Leung, it was almost a repeat of last Monday when he was forced to abandon a residents' meeting in Tuen Mun due to disruption by the league's protesters.

'There was some disruption in the final five minutes in the Tuen Mun meeting and the meeting could not continue,' Leung said yesterday. 'I subsequently discussed with colleagues and concluded that [district visits] were a great experience and we, as officials serving the people, believe we had gained from it.' It was reported that Leung had been advised against attending such meetings because it would be almost certain to draw protesters but had decided to go ahead nonetheless.

Leung and Cheung took about 20 questions in yesterday's meeting.

The chief secretary encountered similar protests by the league's activists when she turned up at the Ap Lei Chau Community Centre with health minister, Dr Ko Wing-man.

The protesters wanted her to follow more closely Leung's illegal structure saga, while she pledged to 'comprehensively review' a number of policies, including public housing.

Lam told security guards to make way for protesters who wanted to hand over petitions to her in person.

Reporting by Olga Wong, Stuart Lau, Jolie Ho, Johnny Tam and Ng Kang-chung