Mon, Mar 24, 2014 - Page 1 News List

Students storm Executive Yuan as standoff persists

PAY ATTENTION:The protesters fought police as they broke into the Executive Yuan complex in a move they said was aimed at getting Ma to stop ignoring the public

By Shih Hsiu-chuan and Loa Iok-sin  /  Staff reporters

Earlier in the day, students and other activists occupying the legislative floor lashed out at Ma over his refusal to withdraw the service pact and push for legislation to monitor cross-strait agreements, vowing to continue their occupation of the Legislative Yuan and call for a nationwide strike.

“Regrettably, the president did not agree to hold a dialogue with us, as we wanted. Instead, he repeatedly iterated his propaganda, while ignoring the public’s voice and failing to come up with a concrete response to the expectations of Taiwanese and of the students,” Lin told a press conference at the legislative chamber held after Ma’s press conference.

“We are occupying the legislature because of the government’s unlawful actions [regarding the pact] and we hereby call on Ma not to twist the facts and reverse the cause and effect so he can blame the public for the situation,” Lin added.

Lin was referring to the announcement by Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator Chang Ching-chung (張慶忠) on Monday last week that the trade agreement would skip the legislative committee phase of the review and be referred directly to the general assembly.

Lin said what Chang did was undemocratic, adding that “the government is setting the worst possible example for the public.”

He went on to say that the protesters would continue to demand that the government withdraw the trade pact and draft laws to oversee cross-strait agreements, before issuing a new demand that the government hold a nationwide conference to resolve the deadlock.

“Our occupation of the legislative chamber is meant to show how ridiculous the system is and to remind the government that, the citizens of a democratic country should take part in said country’s policymaking so they can help decide their nation’s future,” Lin said. “Taiwan must be a country for all Taiwanese.”

This story has been updated since it was first published.

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