Sat, Jul 20, 2013 - Page 1 News List

Flash mobs protest Dapu demolitions

CLOSE TO HOME:Four protesters turned up at Miaoli County Commissioner Liu Cheng-hung’s residence and were subsequently charged with damaging property

By Loa Iok-sin and Peng Chien-li  /  Staff reporters

Police officers restrain a protester in Dapu Borough in Miaoli County’s Jhunan Township yesterday.

Photo: Peng Chien-li, Taipei Times

Following the forced demolition of four houses in Miaoli County’s Dapu Borough (大埔) on Thursday, protesters have staged several flash-mob protests in Miaoli and Taipei.

Around a dozen protesters turned up in front of President Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) chairmanship election campaign headquarters in Taipei a little before 8pm last night, and began throwing eggs at the building while chanting, “You tear down the Dapu houses today, we will tear down the government tomorrow!”

By the time police arrived on the scene the egg-throwing had ended. Nevertheless, two protesters, Wang Chung-ming (王鐘銘) and Wu Hsueh-chan (吳學展), were detained and charged with violation of the Social Order Maintenance Act (社會秩序維護法).

The police declined to say whether they had evidence proving the two’s involvement in the egg-throwing protest.

The pair were still at the police station as of press time.

About half an hour before the protest, a larger crowd demonstrated outside the KMT headquarters in Taipei and clashed with police as they threw eggs at the building.

Meanwhile, in Miaoli, four protesters staged a surprise protest outside Miaoli County Commissioner Liu Cheng-hung’s (劉政鴻) residence in Houlong Township (後龍) early yesterday morning.

“Rise up against the tyranny of Liu Cheng-hung that tore down the Dapu houses, Taiwanese!” The four shouted as they carried five large cans of yellow and white paint while running toward Liu’s house after arriving on scooters at around 6:20am.

Security guards outside the house scuffled with the four in a bid to try to stop them, and paint was splashed on the ground.

Hearing the commotion, Liu looked down from a second-floor balcony, and called the protesters “shameless.”

The quartet were arrested and charged with damaging property.

Chen Wei-ting (陳為廷), a native of Miaoli and a National Tsing Hua University student who was one the protesters, said they wanted Liu to know what it was like to have his house threatened.

The other three protesters were National Taiwan University students.

On Thursday, after the forced demolition in the morning, farming activist Yang Ru-men (楊儒門) and long-time social activist Lee Chien-cheng (李建誠) were arrested at around 6:30pm for trying to throw paint at the Presidential Office in protest at the forced demolition.

Earlier yesterday, Vice President Wu Den-yih (吳敦義) was confronted by a group of students shouting, “You will be punished for breaking promises!” as he attended an award ceremony in Taipei.

Later, in response to media inquiries, Wu he said he was “surprised” by Thursday’s demolition, but insisted it was within the county government’s authority to handle the case.

“I was quite surprised by the county government’s move. However, the county government handled the incident in accordance with the law. How can we overstep our authority and interfere with local affairs?” he said.

Additional reporting by Mo Yan-chih

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