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Activists storm Taiwan's parliament

Publication Date : 20-03-2014

 

Activist Chen Wei-ting, in the Assembly Hall of the Legislative Yuan, yesterday afternoon explained the demands of protesters who occupied the venue, saying the government should “reject” the Cross-Strait Trade in Services Agreement and restart negotiations, saying that President Ma Ying-jeou, Premier Jiang Yi-huah and Legislative Yuan Speaker Wang Jin-pyng should face the issue.

In addition, Chen declared that Kuomintang (KMT) lawmaker Chang Ching-chung had violated legislative procedures.

If the Legislative Yuan fails to respond to the people, Chen said, the protesters would not rule out the possibility of “paralysing” the Executive Yuan or the Presidential Office buildings.

Chang, who doubles as convener of the cross-committee deliberation meeting over the Cross-strait pact, announced on Monday that the agreement had passed and was sent to the Yuan Sitting to be put into the record for future reference.

Following Chang's announcement, several civic groups gathered and camped outside the Legislative Yuan, voicing their anger and urging the Legislature to review the agreement article by article.

Protesters' sudden move unstoppable

On Tuesday around 9pm, civic groups, including the Democratic Front Against Cross-strait Trade in Services Agreement, led over 200 protesters who broke through police lines outside the gates of the Legislative Yuan.

Protesters, most of them college students, stormed into the Assembly Hall, breaking the glass doors and blocking the entrances by piling up legislators' chairs to prevent police from entering. The protesters also took over the podium and rostrum in the meeting chamber.

Several physical altercations occurred between police and the protesters. Police attempted to enter the Assembly Hall twice at 3:30am and 5:20am yesterday, but attempts were repulsed by protesters.

Over 2,000 people have gathered outside of the Assembly Hall of the Legislative Yuan.

Activist Lin Fei-fan announced on Tuesday night in the Assembly Hall that the occupation will last at least 63 hours.

38 police Injured: NPA

A total of 38 police officers were injured during physical altercations with the protesters, National Police Agency (NPA) Director-General Wang Cho-chiun said yesterday, noting that one of the injured police was in critical condition for a period of time.

Wang said four activists, including a college student, were arrested during the protests and he urged protesters to stop occupying the Legislative Yuan. He added that the police will take further action depending on the situation.

Wang said a police officer, surnamed Chung, collapsed during a confrontation with protesters due to severe blockages in his lungs, noting that Chung's condition is currently stable, but he will remain at National Taiwan University Hospital (NTUH) for further observation.

Cabinet spokesman Sun Lih-chyun said given that the confrontation occurred at the Legislative Yuan, the Executive Yuan respects the Legislature's decision over the matter.

Wang urged protesters to remain calm, reasonable and to exhibit self-restraint, saying he hopes the protesters will soon let the Legislative Yuan handle the issue of the service trade pact in a rational manner.

 

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