There were dramatic scenes in Australia’s parliament on Wednesday when protesters forced proceedings to be suspended.
The group of about 40 activists shouted pro-refugee chants from the public viewing gallery of the House of Representatives as prime minister Malcolm Turnbull and other senior members of parliament sat for Question Time.
The protesters could be heard chanting: “Close the camps”, “Bring them here” and “We are here today because you have become world leaders in cruelty”, referring to the contentious, hard-line refugee and asylum seeker policies of the current Coalition government and the former Labor government.
Debate was halted and soon suspended by Speaker Tony Smith as security attempted to remove the protesters, some of whom had linked arms and even glued their hands to railings.
As the activists were removed from the chamber one-by-one, they continued their chants as they were forcibly taken through the halls of Parliament Houseby security.
According to the ABC, a group calling themselved the Whistleblowers, Activists and Citizens Alliance have claimed responsibility for the protest.
Senior government minster and Leader of the House Christopher Pyne said the chaotic incident wast the “most serious intrusion into the Parliament” since the 1996 riots organised by the Australian Council of Trade Unions.