Mon, Oct 07, 2019 - Page 1 News List

Police report filed over vandalism of NTUA protest wall

By Wu Po-hsuan and Sherry Hsiao  /  Staff reporter, with staff writer

Cheung Chun-ho, a Hong Konger attending the National Taiwan University of Arts, speaks to reporters yesterday after filing a report with police in New Taipei City’s Banciao District over vandalism of the school’s “Lennon wall.”

Photo: Wu Po-hsuan, Taipei Times

A Hong Kong student attending the National Taiwan University of Arts (NTUA) yesterday filed a report with police in New Taipei City’s Banciao District (板橋) after two Chinese students removed notes from the “Lennon wall” on campus on Wednesday.

The pair were recorded tearing down notes from the wall at about 4am on Wednesday, said Cheung Chun-ho (張俊豪), a sophomore in the motion picture department.

Upset by the incident, other students soon replaced the messages that had been removed, he said.

Later on Wednesday, other Chinese students covered messages on the “Lennon wall” with blank sticky notes, he said.

Cheung and other Hong Kong students reached out to the first two Chinese through the university’s offices of international affairs and student affairs in hopes of communicating with them and learning their motives, he said.

However, at about 6pm on Saturday, they were told that the pair were unwilling to talk with them, he said.

“They were only willing to provide a written response and a written apology,” he said.

The “Lennon wall” on campus is a place where everyone, including Chinese students, can express their opinions, Cheung said, adding that he does not wish to see Taiwan’s freedom of speech destroyed.

The behavior of the Chinese students has “not only shown that Hong Kong is being suppressed, but also indirectly transferred violent behavior from Hong Kong to Taiwan,” he said.

While he and other students have no plans at the moment to look further into such actions, they believe the blank sticky notes were also a form of suppression, as well as being disrespectful of those students who had left messages on the wall, he said.

Such behavior is “not allowed in Taiwan,” he added.

The school has rules regarding how posters are displayed and managed, NTUA secretary-general Tsai Ming-yin (蔡明吟) said.

It has penalized the two Chinese students who tore down messages from the wall, she said.

It also held a meeting with the Chinese students who pasted blank notes over the wall, Hong Kong students and student union representatives, but the talks broke down as the Chinese were willing to apologize in writing and in person, but the Hong Kong students wanted a video recording, she said.

The university respects students’ freedom of speech and its rules must be followed, but it also wishes to create a safe and peaceful campus, she added.

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