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

DOES IT FEEL LIKE POLITICS IS AT A BREAKING POINT?

Headshot of Editor in Chief of Mother Jones, Clara Jeffery

It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

We kept coming back to one word: corruption. Democracy and the rule of law being undermined by those with wealth and power for their own gain. So we're launching an ambitious Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption, and asking the MoJo community to help crowdfund it.

We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

Thanks for reading—whether or not you can pitch in today, or ever, I'm glad you're with us.

Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest