While the round-the-clock sit-in launched by former Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) chairman Shih Ming-teh (
On the third day of the sit-in aimed at ousting President Chen Shui-bian (
In a separate incident, another motorist was pushed off his scooter by a group of demonstrators when he expressed a different opinion to theirs as he passed by Jing Fu Men (
Several motorists driving by Ketagalan Boulevard had their cars hit and slapped because the drivers failed to roll down their windows and echo the crowd's "Depose Chen" thumbs-down gesture.
When Shih first detailed his anti-Chen sit-in campaign, his camp stressed that the event would be carried out in a peaceful way in line with their campaign slogan of "Love and Peace."
Yet, judging by the recent incidents, one can't help wondering if Shih has any control over this crowd.
The toughest test is yet to come.
Tomorrow night the Shih camp is planning a "symbolic siege" around the Presidential Office and the president's official Yushan Residence. The Taipei City Police Department has approved the route for the "siege," as well as a five-day sit-in to be staged at Taipei Railway Station following the rally.
If any clashes break out during the "siege," will Shih be able to restrain his followers? Or will he leave them behind so he can take another shower in his van?
Chien Hsi-chieh, deputy head of Shih's anti-Chen campaign office, on Monday put a positive spin on any violence that might occur, claiming that "clashes are organized violence." Chien's remarks were later dismissed by Shih's camp as "a personal opinion."
If a statement made by the camp's very own deputy head can be casually dismissed as "a personal opinion," it would be just as easy for the Shih camp to deny responsibility for any violent incidents that occur.
Adding fuel to the fire are irresponsible remarks by social critic Cheng Tsun-chi (
Cheng claimed that if Chen does not step down, he would launch a "bloody revolution."
Yang, meanwhile, penned an article posted on the paper's Web site earlier this week stating his three steps to oust Chen. His plan includes having the crowd lay siege to the Presidential Office, which would then force the authorities to use the military to attack the protesters. As Taiwan approaches the brink of wider civil unrest, the US would intervene and ask Chen to step down.
As for Shih, despite his insistence that tomorrow's "siege" will be peaceful, he has called on the crowd to "let the sacred battle [
Politicians should be held accountable for their words, and more so if they are designed to incite a crowd to violence. The public should not let the nation's democracy be subverted by politicians who swim in rhetoric but are reluctant to shoulder responsibility for their actions.
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