Mon, Sep 25, 2006 - Page 3 News List

Angry anti-Chen protesters threaten to overstay permit

HELL, NO, WE MIGHT NOT GO Organizers of the protests aimed at ousting the president said they weren't happy with the DPP for reserving their Ketagalan space next week

By Mo Yan-chih  /  STAFF REPORTER

A man only identifying himself as a Hakka dresses in red and green clothes yesterday to express his wish that Taiwan not be torn apart by a ``war'' between red (anti-Chen Shui-bian protesters) and green (Chen supporters).

PHOTO: CNA

Organizers of the campaign to oust President Chen-Shui-bian (陳水扁) yesterday lashed out at the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) for reserving Ketagalan Boulevard next week despite having no plans to hold events.

The anti-Chen campaign's permit to hold sit-in protests on Ketagalan Boulevard expires at midnight on Wednesday. The camp announced on Saturday that it will move its protest site to Jinan Road on the east side of the Legislative Yuan.

But after learning that DPP Taipei City Councilwoman Liu Yao-ren (劉耀仁) -- and not the Double Ten National Day celebration preparation committee -- obtained a permit to use the boulevard on Thursday and Friday, the camp yesterday changed their plan and announced that it may refuse to leave the site.

"The DPP claimed that it would not counterattack our sit-in, but then it asked its councilor to apply for the road permit despite no plans to hold events. It's very childish," the anti-Chen campaign's news coordinator, Chang Fu-chung (張富忠), said yesterday at a press conference at The Mayor's Salon, an art gallery.

Liu had said that he applied for the permit in order to give students near Ketagalan Boulevard a break from the recent around-the-clock sit-in protests.

In an attempt to protest against what it said was an "unwise move" by the DPP, Chien Hsi-chieh, an anti-Chen camp leader, said that the protesters are now considering staying on Ketagalan Boulevard.

"If the DPP continues to prevent protesters from exercising their assembly and rally rights, we will hold a sit-in in front of the DPP [on Ketagalan Boulevard] and never leave," Chien added.

The camp also announced its latest idea to "celebrate" the DPP's party anniversary Thursday by inviting people who collect A-bian merchandise to donate the products.

"We will send them to the DPP and ask it to reflect on its behavior," Chien said.

With a possible change of plan to stay on Ketagalan Boulevard next week, the camp said it may cancel the parade scheduled for Saturday. But it said the "siege" of the Presidential Office on Double Ten National Day will go forward no matter what.

According to Chien, the camp has begun to recruit 5,000 "nonviolent activists" to join the siege.

"We welcome healthy men or women between age 18 and 65 to join us, but we prefer women," he said, adding that women would bring "soft power" to the event.

The "activists," who will be placed in the front and rear of the group, will receive two days of intensive training in how to demonstrate "people power" through "peaceful violation of the law, non-cooperation and disobedience," according to Chien.

Shih Ming-teh (施明德), the campaign's leader, said that the camp is considering joining forces with other cities and counties to expand the influence of its "siege" on Oct. 10. He also urged former president Lee Teng-hui (李登輝) to join the camp and demand that the president step down.

"Lee said that the government should never mobilize crowds to fight against protesters, and it's very true," Shih said. "I urge him to wield his influence for the people and the country."

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