Pan-democrats will camp outside Civic Square next to the Legislative Council starting Monday evening in order to protest the pro-Beijing camp’s attempts to amend the legislature’s rules.
Changes to the Rules of Procedure have been proposed mostly by the pro-Beijing camp in order to curb filibustering by democrats. The pro-democracy camp does not have enough votes to block any modifications after six of its democratically-elected lawmakers were disqualified by a court following government legal action.
The pro-democracy camp will begin camping at 6pm on Monday in order to “resist Beijing’s attack on the legislature.” On Wednesday evening, they plan to surround the Legislative Council Complex.
The camp said that if the Legislature Council changes its Rules of Procedures, the government would face no opposition on issues such as the national anthem law, the controversial joint checkpoint arrangement for the express rail link, and legislating the national security law.
According to the camp’s convenor Charles Mok, pro-democracy lawmakers – as well as ousted legislators – will take part in the action. He urged supporters to join in, and understand the serious impact that amending the rules will have on the legislature’s ability to supervise the government.
On Sunday, pro-Beijing parties such as the DAB, BPA and Hong Kong Federation of Trade Unions set up over a hundred street stations in Kowloon and paraded the streets in order to gain support from the public on amending the Rules of Procedure.
The groups chanted slogans such as “filibustering is a waste of life; filibustering forces Hong Kong to stop.”
DAB chairwoman Starry Lee said that many livelihood-related bills were sacrificed due to filibustering during the last Legislative Council session, and that if the rules were not amended, they would be letting down Hong Kong and the public.
The pro-democracy camp warned at a news conference last week that, after the rules are changed, Hong Kong’s controversial national security law could be passed soon. “This threat is imminent,” said Charles Mok, convener of the camp.
Legislation of Basic Law Article 23 was shelved in 2003 after half a million marched in protest out of fear that it would have a negative effect on civil liberties.