• Fri
  • Dec 26, 2014
  • Updated: 9:27pm
NewsHong Kong
DEVELOPMENT

Pepper spray and barricades used as new-town protesters try to storm Legco complex

Scenes of chaos as police use pepper spray to force back angry campaigners trying to force open the doors to Legco building

PUBLISHED : Friday, 13 June, 2014, 10:05pm
UPDATED : Saturday, 14 June, 2014, 1:24pm
 

Poll

  • Yes: 25%
  • No: 75%
14 Jun 2014
  • Yes
  • No
Total number of votes recorded: 194

An angry, 200-strong crowd demonstrating against the government's plans for two new towns tried to force their way into the Legco building last night as police officers targeted them with pepper spray through the smashed glass of wall panels.

Protesters kept pushing at the doors behind their open umbrellas in an attempt to protect their faces from the stinging spray. One disabled man was seen reversing his electric wheelchair into a set of doors in an attempt to force them open.

Police used riot shields to beat back the bamboo poles that were being used to try to pry open doors - until officers went on the offensive, exiting the building using pepper spray to force back the protesters. Journalists were also sprayed in the mayhem.

Several people were seen pinned to the floor before being taken away by officers, while others received treatment from paramedics.

The lead-up to the drama started at about 3pm as people began arriving in time for the resumption of the Legislative Council's Finance Committee debate on a HK$340 million funding request for engineering works linked to plans to build two new towns in the northeastern New Territories.

They found the Legco complex surrounded by hundreds of barricades in an apparent effort to prevent a repeat of last Friday's scenes, when campaigners against the development plans occupied the building's ground floor during the committee's discussions.

Gates on the building's second floor where the meeting was being held were also rolled down.

"Legco today is no different from a prison. Lawmakers have lost the respect of the public," pan-democrat lawmaker Leung Yiu-chung said.

Denied access, the protesters, some of whom will lose their homes as a result of the development, sat in circles in front of the Legco complex.

At 5.15pm, one of the villagers whose home is set to disappear under the plans climbed onto a portico to put up a banner reading, "Withdraw the plan". He scuffled with police before returning to the ground.

The mood changed at about 8.30pm when news came that committee chairman Ng Leung-sing had decided to end a filibuster on the debate by not handling hundreds of new motions filed by pan-democrats. He had already cut motions tabled earlier from 939 to 40. He instead called for lawmakers to take a vote on the funding request last night.

During the ensuing mayhem, Ng ended up postponing the vote and the meeting, citing security reasons. The crowd then calmed down, only for chaos to erupt again until pan-democratic lawmakers emerged to call for calm.

Ng said the secretariat had advised him to cut the meeting short because "that would be safer for lawmakers when they went back to their offices".

It is the first time a meeting has been suspended due to security concerns since Legco moved to the Tamar site in 2011.

At 12.45am this morning, about 100 people remained sitting outside the building.

Police said they had made three arrests, all in the afternoon.

Additional reporting by Victoria Ann Duthie

 

Share

For unlimited access to:

SCMP.com SCMP Tablet Edition SCMP Mobile Edition 10-year news archive
 
 

 

 
 
 
 
 
74

This article is now closed to comments

virokick
In America ,if these thugs swamp the congress like this - the SWAT team will just strike them down. No such thing as pepper spray- the Americans use that for adding flavour to their hamburgers.
anthonygmail
It's always the same core of dregs that we see in the protests.
virokick
For heavens sake , the whole of HK cannot be held at ransom by some village thugs. We have shortage of land for housing , so now the gov needs to develop new townships. What's there to be against ?
ngsw
Radio news reported that during the event, the villagers and the young protesters were quarreling. What does this tell you? The villagers want money but the young protesters want fun. We can foresee this in the coming "peaceful" Occupy Central. Some hero-wannabe will hijack it into a rioting funfair. I would stock peanut and beer to watch the fun in TV.
gunzy
Andao, are you justifying the use of violence by the protesters?
.
Just that alone has made hk fall.
Kubrick
Interesting that the pro-democrats are not condemning the violence used by these thugs. It is now evident that they are using violence to leverage their various campaigns, whilst happy to criticize others they stand silent when their side use violence.
hard times !
a meeting is cut short due to security reasons of some so-called lawmakers who are too eager to pass some motions to benefit big real estate companies in town while making some long-time villagers homeless.Not to say our secretary for development,Chan Mo-por and his family still own three plots of land in North-east N.T.(within the development zone!)---is there a conflict of interest ? I wonder.This so-called N.E.New Territories Development Scheme should be dropped once and for all !
ngsw
let's be clear. I saw in Cable live two lawmakers of PeoplePower, Chan WaiYip and Chan Chi Chuen' came out to declare victory and vowed this is not an end. Who organized this riot? Most rioter are youths and students look-like, all appeared and acted like hero-wannabe.
daily
This is a perfect example of the maturity and sophistication of HK`rs............sad sad sad.
pliu
The violence and damage to the Legco building by young protesters against the Government's proposed North-East New Territories Development are absolutely disgraceful. These thugs should be locked up and made to pay for all the damages they have caused.
They are not true representatives of the great majority of indigenous villagers that live, own land and houses in the North-East New Territories. Most of the activists don't even own land or houses in the proposed development areas and I suspect many are from outside the New Territories.
The proposed North-East New Territories Development will be good for the local community. It will provide much needed extra housing, better transport and shopping facilities, more recreational facilities and improving the local environment.
I think it's really time for the SILENT MAJORITY to speak out and have their voices heard!!!

Pages

Login

SCMP.com Account

or