National Taiwan University (NTU) student Hung Chung-yen (洪崇晏) yesterday denied that he initiated the demonstration outside Taipei’s Zhongzheng First Police Precinct office on Friday night, saying that he was there to make sure that the event would not get out of control and to prevent damages on both sides.
“I was not the one who initiated the ‘passing through’ demonstration outside the police precinct office. I actually heard about it from a friend, who saw it on the Internet,” Hung told the Taipei Times in an interview.
He said that he arrived outside the Legislative Yuan on Wednesday at about 10am upon hearing that protesters outside — mostly members of the Alliance of Referendum for Taiwan (ART) — had been removed, and that the Zhongzheng First Police Precinct announced that it has revoked all assembly and parade permits for the group, and will never again grant it any permits.
“I felt that I needed to help the alliance, because they have contributed a lot to social movements in recent years, including the occupation of the legislature,” Hung said. “So, when I heard that people plan to protest outside the police precinct office, I thought that I should hold a press conference to condemn [Zhongzheng First Police Precinct] chief Fang Yang-ning (方仰寧) for breaking the promise to not evict alliance protesters outside the office, before the protest started.”
Hung said that the news conference started about 30 minutes before the protest and ended about five minutes before the protest started.
He said that after declaring the news conference over, he stayed on to see what he can do to help, because if there is not an experienced leader around, a crowd can easily get out of control.
He added that he successfully stopped the crowd from throwing objects at police officers and persuaded most of the crowd to leave at about 10:30pm.
Despite Hung’s denials, many people are still convinced that he started the protest and created Facebook pages condemning him.
However, Chuang Yi-fei (莊翼飛), a police officer at Dapeng Police Station (大鵬派出所) in New Taipei City’s Wanli District (萬里), triggered criticism as he called on netizens to launch a search for any personal information on Hung, making public Hung’s home address and urging people on Facebook to protest outside Hung’s home.
Many Internet users condemned Chuang for doing so as a police officer, saying that he may be in violation of the Personal Information Protection Act (個人資料保護法).
The Dapeng Police Station confirmed that Chuang is an officer at the station. They said they have received many complaints and would launch an investigation.