Sun, Oct 08, 2006 - Page 3 News List

Shih says 2 million will attend `siege'

NOT FIGHTING TALK The deputy coordinator of the anti-Chen campaign said that Tuesday's demonstration would proceed with `love, peace and non-violence'

By Mo Yan-chih  /  STAFF REPORTER

Organizers of the campaign to oust President Chen Shui-bian hold a press conference to explain their plans to hold a ``siege'' around the Presidential Office during the National Day celebrations. The organizers promised not to disturb foreign dignitaries attending the festivities.

PHOTO: CNA

The anti-President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) campaign yesterday called on two million protesters to join its "siege" on Tuesday and encircle the Presidential Office building from four directions during the Double Ten National Day celebration.

The target of the so-called "siege" will be the president alone, and the celebration and attending guests will not be affected by the demonstration, organizers said.

"We have already had discussions with the Taipei City Government and the police department. The siege will proceed with love, peace and non-violence," deputy coordinator of the campaign Chien Hsi-chieh said during a press conference yesterday.

The protest rally will take place simultaneously on the Xinyi Road section of Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall, the Nanhai Road area of the Taipei Botanical Garden, the ROC Armed Forces Cultural Center and Taipei Main Station.

At the main station, the campaign organizers have also planned a gathering on the eve of National Day as a private celebration of the occasion, Chien said.

Protesters were requested to wear red clothes, tie red ribbons around their hands, and carry MP3 players or radios as the camp plans to broadcast directions by means of radio.

"Most importantly, bring resolve, and not hate, with you," Chien said.

Campaign leader Shih Ming-teh (施明德) accused the president of putting pressure on Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平), who is in charge of organizing the celebrations, to cancel the ceremony, and of failing to offer a positive response to the voice of the people.

"When two million people show up at the siege, their voice will represent the opinion of 23 million Taiwanese," Shih said.

"The people are the master of Taiwan. President Chen is the people's servant. When the servant is corrupt and incompetent, the master has the right to fire him," he said.

Shih also denounced Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Chairman Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) for failing to make sufficient efforts to oust Chen, and for splitting the campaign by refusing to stretch the rules in his capacity as Taipei mayor.

"He actually wants to maintain the status quo and keep A-bian from stepping down, so that his dream of becoming the president in 2008 can be realized without effort," he said.

Ma declined to comment on the criticism while KMT spokesman Huang Yu-cheng (黃玉振) said the party has been supportive of the campaign and put its full weight behind recalling the president.

"We've done all we can do, and I believe that the people are able to make their own judgment ? The KMT respects Shih's comments," he said yesterday.

When asked whether the KMT would join the siege, Ma said yesterday that the party would not be directly involved.

"But our members are free to attend the event as individuals," he said yesterday while attending a municipal event in Taipei.

People First Party Chairman James Soong (宋楚瑜), on the other hand, said he would lead party members to attend the siege, wearing red.

The Taipei City Police Department declared that approximately 5,000 officers will be on duty at the celebrations.

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