Taipei police authorities yesterday said that 2,000 police officers have been deployed to maintain order at the rally of the student-led occupation movement that is slated to take place today in front of the Presidential Office Building.
Taipei City Zhongzheng First Precinct Police Chief Fang Yang-ning (方仰寧) told a press conference that the officers are ready to maintain order at the rally and control traffic around the Boai Special District (博愛特區), where a cluster of important government bureaus are located.
“The Presidential Office Building, the Executive Yuan, the Joint Central Government Office Building, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and others, as well as the Chunghsing Apartment (中興寓所) — the codename for President Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) residence — have been placed under protection,” he added.
According to Fang, vehicles have been barred from entering Ketagalan Boulevard since midnight last night, and from 1pm today, roadblocks are to be set up at Linsen S Road in the east, Chunghwa Road in the west, Nanhai Road in the south and Chunghsiao W Road in the north.
Fang said police and student representatives had a meeting on Friday and reached a consensus on cooperation in keeping order at the rally.
He added that he hoped the protesters would leave Ketagalan Boulevard and Chungshan S Road before midnight tonight.
Earlier, Greater Kaohsiung Mayor Chen Chu (陳菊) and Greater Tainan Mayor William Lai (賴清德), both members of the Democratic Progressive Party, said that they would not abide by the National Police Agency’s request to deploy their police forces to northern Taiwan for support.
Both Chen and Lai said yesterday that after negotiations, the agency agreed that the cities would each dispatch 280 police officers as a “reserve force” and that they would stay in Taipei from 6am to 6pm today.
These police officers would not take part in eviction actions, if any take place, Chen and Lai said.
Meanwhile, the National Security Bureau said that its Special Service Command Center has stepped up security measures for the Presidential Office Building as well as the Chunghsing Apartment.
It dismissed allegations that the special force planned to fire rubber bullets at anyone who tries to break into the Presidential Office.