Premier Jiang Yi-huah (江宜樺) yesterday said that the barricades outside government buildings in Taipei would not be removed until “the situation has settled down” and dismissed concerns that imposing “pre-emptive detention” would turn Taiwan into a police state.
The number of police officers stationed outside the Legislative Yuan has surged since the most recent legislative meeting, when antinuclear protesters tried to stop lawmakers from leaving the compound by surrounding and jumping on their cars.
Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Chiu Yi-ying (邱議瑩) asked Jiang at a question-and-answer session at the legislature yesterday when the barricades would be removed, but did not receive a straight answer.
Saying that he had been asked the same question before, Jiang said: “As you can see Tsay Ting-kuei (蔡丁貴) took action last week, as I said he would.”
Tsay is the convener of the Alliance of Referendum for Taiwan, which organized the antinuclear protest and besieged the Legislative Yuan.
Jiang also invited opposition lawmakers who had also been obstructed by the protesters while attempting to leave the complex to “call on the public to stop instigating social unrest.”
Jiang was also asked to comment on a public request for the establishment of a labor union for police officers after an officer from Miaoli County died of a stroke on Thursday. The officer had been unconscious for several weeks, allegedly as a result of overexertion from being dispatched to Taipei to deal with the Sunflower movement protests against the cross-strait service trade agreement.
“Our society still has doubts about allowing public servants who hold power, such as teachers, soldiers and police, to form unions,” Jiang said.
DPP Legislator Chiu Chih-wei (邱志偉) criticized a proposal made by Deputy Minister of the Interior Jonathan Chen (陳純敬) on using pre-emptive detention against protesters, saying it would sow fear in society.
Jiang said that pre-emptive detention “will not target students or protesters, but a small number of people who have repeatedly led the crowd to attack the Legislative Yuan and impeded lawmakers’ access to government buildings.”