“There are more than 100 police officers here today to handle such a small group of people. In a democratic society, the government should be afraid of its people, not the other way around,” he said.
Ma later left the party headquarters without commenting on the protest.
Commenting on the clashes and arrests on Tuesday, the DPP said the government’s behavior has reached the level of state violence and has reminded Taiwanese of the KMT’s authoritarian past.
In addition to Hsu, National Taiwan University students Hung Chung-yen (洪崇晏) and Lu Chih-hung (盧其宏) were arrested by police.
“I cannot describe how angry the DPP is with an administration that has betrayed its own pledge, demolishing houses in Miaoli when the villagers were protesting in Taipei and deploying police to arrest whoever shouts slogans along the president’s way,” DPP Chairman Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) said.
“It does not take surveys from international institutions to tell us that democracy in Taiwan has been backsliding. We can tell from what we saw that the ghost of the KMT’s authoritarian and dictatorial past is back,” he added.
DPP spokesperson Lin Chun-hsien (林俊憲) said National Security Bureau Director Tsai Der-sheng (蔡得勝) should be held responsible for stepping beyond his authority by ordering violent measures against civilian protesters, which Lin said was illegal and unconstitutional.
The DPP also announced it was organizing a group of volunteer lawyers to provide legal assistance to villagers in Dapu, as well as those who suffered from the government’s injustice.
Meanwhile, the DPP caucus yesterday demanded that the Taipei City Police Department submit the roster of police officers on duty on Tuesday within a week and said it would file lawsuits against law enforcement officials.
Speaking at a press conference, DPP Legislator Wu Ping-jui (吳秉叡), a former judge, said prosecutors’ release of all detainees without bail showed that the police had abused their power and made arrests without sufficient evidence.
Former premier Yu Shyi-kun, who formerly served as Yilan County commissioner, said that while the government always loved to say it “administers by law,” it should not administer by state violence.