Several activists who have taken part in recent protests — including the occupation of the Legislative Yuan and the Executive Yuan, and a demonstration outside the Zhongzheng First Police Precinct — yesterday turned themselves in to police, saying that while they did not break the law, they were willing to accept any legal responsibility that protesters may face.
“From the 24-day occupation of the legislature to the overnight occupation of the Executive Yuan and the demonstration outside the Zhongzheng First Police Precinct office, the government, the police and the judiciary have targeted a number of students, accusing them of being ‘leaders of criminal activity’ and holding them responsible for the series of public protests,” said Chu Cheng-chi (朱政騏), one of the activists and a Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Taipei City Council candidate. “But we are here to the tell the government that there are no leaders in these protests, because we have voluntarily taken part in these actions together. We have not been led by anyone.”
Chu said he did not think that anyone who took part in the protests had done anything “illegal,” as it is a fundamental right for people to rise up against the government.
“However, if the government wants to pick out a few people, call them the ‘leaders’ [of the protests] and press charges against them, we are here to share the responsibility with them, so please charge us as well,” Chu said.
Chu added that the action is to show solidarity with protesters who are being investigated by the police or the judiciary.
Environmentalists Pan Han-chiang (潘翰疆) and Lee Cho-han (李卓翰), animal rights activist Huang Tai-shan (黃泰山) and DPP Taipei City Council candidate Chen Shu-hua (陳淑華) also showed up outside the police station to turn themselves in.
“What our friends on the police’s list did was also something we’ve wanted to do. If they have to face legal responsibility [for what they did], so do we,” Lee said. “If what we did was a crime, then the government should expect many more such crimes in the future.”
Pan also said that it was not fair if only “students” were charged.
“I was one of those who broke into the legislative chamber on March 18. I was one of those who raided the Executive Yuan from the night of March 23 until early morning on March 24. I was also one of those who demonstrated outside Zhongzheng First Police Precinct on April 11. In fact, I insisted on staying when most of the protesters had left that night,” Pan said.
“There is no reason I should be left out of the list of suspects,” he said.
The five were asked to go into the police station for questioning.