Tue, Aug 22, 2006 - Page 3 News List

National Police Agency orders old barricades to Taipei

By Rich Chang  /  STAFF REPORTER

The National Police Agency (NPA) yesterday ordered police departments nationwide to send their barricades to Taipei, in an apparent response to accusations that new barricades equipped with razor-blade wire would be deployed for the first time for a protest against President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) later this month.

"The old barricades will be used at the anti-Chen campaign if necessary. The new barricades are unlikely to be used," NPA Director-General Hou Yu-ih (侯友宜) said in a press statement.

More than 500 barricades would be transported to Taipei from around the country, Hou said.

Lee Jin-tien (李金田), chief of the Taipei Police Department's Zhongzheng First Police District, told the Taipei City Council yesterday that the officers in charge of the area where the protest would be held would not use the new barricades.

Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Taipei City Councilor Lin Yi-hua (林奕華) held a news conference on Sunday under the Keelung Road overpass where the new barricades are being stored.

"The old barricades only had wires wound around them and would not endanger people's lives. The new ones, however, have blades on them and will very likely seriously hurt people attending the rally," she said as she showed how easily one of the barricade blades could slice into a piece of pork.

Lin said the NPA had allocated about 1,000 sets of the new barricades to the Taipei City Police last month.

She questioned why the agency was using equipment that was supposed to be used solely by the military.

She also asked the Taipei police not use the new barricades during an anti-Chen protest on Ketagalan Boulevard.

On Sunday the NPA said the new barricades would be used for anti-terrorism efforts, not during public demonstrations.

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