Former gang leader Chang An-le (張安樂), who heads the China Unification Promotion Party, led hundreds of people to the streets near the Legislative Yuan in Taipei yesterday to demand that the students who have been “illegally” occupying the legislative chamber “return the legislature.”
Chang, known as the “White Wolf,” said on Monday that he would not take part in yesterday’s counter-protest, but he did not explain his change of heart yesterday.
He said the two main student leaders, Chen Wei-ting (陳為廷) and Lin Fei-fan (林飛帆), were “employed students,” a phrase coined during the Martial Law era to refer to students who worked for the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) regime to spy on their peers and report any “unlawful” action against the state.
Chen and Lin led hundreds of students in the occupation of the legislative chamber on March 18. The student protesters, who have grown into the Sunflower movement, are demanding that a mechanism to monitor cross-strait talks be established before legislators resume their review of the controversial service trade pact with Beijing.
Accompanied by two student members of the pro-unification New Party — Wang Puchen (王炳忠) and Lin Ming-cheng (林明正) — Chang and his supporters engaged in an hours-long standoff against supporters of the Sunflower movement at one end of Zhengjiang Street, with scores of policemen acting as a buffer between the two sides.
Chang and his group criticized the police for being “blind to the criminal activities” inside the Legislative Yuan, while blocking “law-abiding citizens” from entering the building, “which belongs to everybody.”
One woman called the students in the legislative chamber “green guards” who were being directed by the Democratic Progressive Party.
At one point, Chang, apparently upset by pro-Sunflower supporters calling him a gangster, angrily shouted: “You are all fucking offspring of Chinese, but you do not deserve to be Chinese. Chinese people do not want you.”
The students responded with applause and laughter, with many shouting: “We are not Chinese anyway. We are Taiwanese.”
Thousands of students supporting the Sunflower movement gathered outside the Legislative Yuan — mostly along Qingdao E Road — to protect those inside.
They responded to Chang and his protesters by singing Island’s Sunrise (島嶼天光), which has become the Sunflower movement’s anthem, and chanting: “Retract the cross-strait service trade agreement” and “Safeguard our democracy.”
Mocking Chang, who allegedly paid for “walkers” to join his demonstration, the students said: “We do not need ‘employed walkers’ to protect democracy.”
Hearing that Chang’s group was asking to meet with student representatives to deliver a petition, Fu Jen Catholic University philosophy professor Shen Ching-kai (沈清楷), who was outside the legislature, said the pro-pact demonstrators were directing themselves at the wrong people.
“Should not those in power be the ones held accountable for people’s complaints?” he said.
Responding from the legislative chamber, Chen said that Chang and his group should be appealing to the Presidential Office, not the anti-pact students.
“The president and the lawmakers are the people who have the real power. The question is not to ask us when are we leaving the Legislative Yuan, but when these people will begin to solve the problem.”