Wed, Aug 08, 2007 - Page 3 News List

Campaigners urge fellow protesters to face charges

By Mo Yan-chih  /  STAFF REPORTER

The organizers of last year's so-called anti-corruption campaign aimed at deposing President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) yesterday called on people who had taken part in their National Day protest last year to turn themselves in and join the 16 indicted campaign members in facing charges from a "ridiculous government."

"It should be the proudest moment of your life to be indicted by such a ridiculous government," campaign spokesman Jerry Fan (范可欽) told a press conference yesterday.

Fan and other campaign organizers accused the Taipei Prosecutors' Office of victimizing campaign leader Shih Ming-teh (施明德) and another 15 organizers while ignoring that a large number of people had participated in the rally.

The 16 campaign members were last Friday charged with violating the Assembly and Parade Law (集會遊行法) by initiating an unregistered protest during last year's National Day celebrations.

Shih said at the time that he was leading protesters to "besiege" the Presidential Office and urge Chen to step down.

Fan said the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) government was supporting a law it had previously tried to scrap.

"Four DPP chairmen have been sentenced for violating the law. The DPP tried to scrap the law when it was the opposition party, but now it has used the law to attack our campaign," he said.

Displaying a gold-colored medal decorated with a hand print, Fan and campaign news director Chang Fu-chung (張富忠) encouraged protesters to join them and face the charges together, adding that the first 10,000 people who contacted the campaign would receive a medal.

"The hand print represents the participants' promise to fight against the corrupt government and make a sacrifice for social justice," Chang said.

Protesters including TV show host Sisy Chen (陳文茜) and writer Chu Ten-hsin (朱天心) had already agreed to turn themselves in to prosecutors, Chang said.

When asked about the campaign's next move, Fan said that they were considering organizing another protest in which people would release millions of red balloons into the sky on National Day, although no final plans have been made.

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