These Photos of World Lawmakers Pummeling Each Other Almost Make You Appreciate Congress

Memorable recent bouts of parliamentary fisticuffs and partisan pile-ons.


Twice last week, brawls broke out in Turkey’s parliament over a controversial bill that would give the police more power to crack down on protestors. Punches were thrown, kicks landed, a chair launched. One MP fell down a flight of stairs. It was like the golden early days of cage fighting when rules were laughed out of the arena and MMA fighters’ posses joined in the mayhem. But at least no shots were fired, unlike the time in 2013 that a Jordanian MP tried to come after a colleague with an AK-47. (No one was harmed.)

While American members of Congress haven’t had a serious dust-up in decades, full-contact debate is more common in other deliberative bodies. Here are some memorable recent bouts of parliamentary fisticuffs. (And for many more examples, check out parliamentfights.)

Turkish lawmakers throw punches over a security bill in February 2015.

AP

 

A presidential decree to call up military reserves leads to a fight in Ukraine’s parliament in July 2014.

Sergii Kharchenko/NurPhoto/ZUMA Wire

 

Armed police force out South African opposition MPs after they challenged President Zuma over corruption allegations in February 2015.

Rodger Bosch, Pool/AP

 

Opposition politicians hurl chairs and attack the speaker during a Constituent Assembly meeting in Kathmandu, Nepal, in January 2015.

Bikram Rai/AP

 

In September 2013, a Jordanian MP fired a shot from his Kalashnikov outside the parliamentary chamber. No one was hurt.

ODN/YouTube

 

Venezuelan MPs duke it out over an election dispute in May 2013.

 

A mass brawl erupts Taiwan’s legislature in July 2010, after the speaker rejects a proposal to a debate a trade pact with China.

Wally Santana/AP
 

In November 2011, South Korean Rep. Kim Seon-dong explodes a tear gas canister in an attempti to block the ratification of a free trade agreement with the United States.

Yonhap/AP

 

Bonus: Then-Toronto mayor Rob Ford knocks down Councillor Pam McConnell as he runs toward hecklers in November 2013.

The Canadian Press, Paola Loriggio/AP

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You expect the big picture, and it's our job at Mother Jones to give it to you. And right now, so many of the troubles we face are the making not of a virus, but of the quest for profit, political or economic (and not just from the man in the White House who could have offered leadership and comfort but instead gave us bleach).

In "News Is Just Like Waste Management," we unpack what the coronavirus crisis has meant for journalism, including Mother Jones’, and how we can rise to the challenge. If you're able to, this is a critical moment to support our nonprofit journalism with a donation: We've scoured our budget and made the cuts we can without impairing our mission, and we hope to raise $400,000 from our community of online readers to help keep our big reporting projects going because this extraordinary pandemic-plus-election year is no time to pull back.

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