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1,000 protesters swarm police precinct in Taipei

Publication Date : 12-04-2014

 

Nearly 1,000 demonstrators gathered in front of the Zhongzheng First Precinct of the Taipei City Police Department last night, protesting the department's decision to drive the remaining protesters out of the Legislative Yuan compound.

While student protesters left the Legislature's Assembly Hall yesterday morning, members of the Referendum Alliance opted to stay outside the Legislature. At 7am, officers of the Zhongzheng First Precinct began to disperse the protesters using “soft measures”. The police lifted protesters away from the scene, without applying any hard force. No injuries were reported

Referendum Alliance leader Tsai Ting-kuei, however, burst onto a nearby road in order to vent his dissatisfaction. He collided with a motorcycle and required medical attention.

Zhongzheng First Precinct Police Chief Fang Yang-ning said the police removed the protesters in order to ensure the resumption of the Legislature, after sessions had been held up for weeks as a consequence of student protesters' occupation. Fang also pointed out that Tsai was injured as a result of his arbitrary action.

The anti-police movement

Many are still unsatisfied with Fang's statement. At 5:30pm, a crowd started to gather at the Zhongzheng First Precinct building to express their disatisfaction. Several hours later, nearly 1,000 demonstrators gathered around the precinct, paralysing traffic on nearby Gongyuan Road and Qingdao W. Road.

Sources said the movement was called for by a doctoral student from National Taiwan University's philosophy department. Dissidents summoned and planned the demonstration movement on the Internet before it was implemented.

The crowd threw joss paper (ghost money) and water bottles at the police force amassed in front of the police precinct, saying that Fang had broken his promise to not drive protesters out of the Legislative Yuan compound. The protesters called on Fang to apologise and resign for “breach of trust.” They also called on the police to return “Tsai's rights”.

Police chief's apology

Standing in front of the police bureau, Fang gave an apology for improperly carrying out public duty, and said he would resign from his post, as requested by the protesters. Whether the resignation will be approved by Taipei Mayor Hau Lung-bin is unknown.

Fang stressed that he is willing to cooperate with prosecutors' investigations if needed, and that he will shoulder all responsibility.

Five hundred riot police and 800 regular police were mobilised by the Zhongzheng First Precinct's police bureau last night.

By 11pm, in a symbolic move, some of the demonstrators started to leave the police bureau and headed for the Legislative Yuan, the location where Tsai was injured. Demonstrators threatened fiercer protests if faced with attempts at forceful dispersion.

 

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