Fri, Dec 26, 2008 - Page 3 News List

Wild Strawberries to sue the police

REPRESSION The students planned to file a lawsuit against the police officers they claim injured them in the forceful confiscation of their ‘gift’ to the president

By Chen Hsuan-yu  /  STAFF REPORTER

A group of students from the Wild Strawberry Student Movement who were stopped by police on Wednesday on their way to deliver “human rights presents” to President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) said they decided to sue the officers for violating their freedom.

Minor clashes occurred as students attempted to prevent the officers from taking away their “installation art cabin,” which led to a number of students being injured. Police later confiscated the cabin.

The students said they would also sue the officers for “inflicting injuries on them and embezzling the cabin.”

The incident started when the students, wearing red Christmas hats, carried their cabin stuffed with Chapter Two of the Constitution — a chapter about citizen’s rights and obligations — the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and copies of the Assembly and Parade Act (集會遊行法), as their Christmas presents for Ma.

The students responsible for delivering the “presents” set off from the Nanchang Park and headed to the Presidential Office along Guling Street and Nanhai Road.

Police stopped them near Chongqing S Road, Sec. 2

The police ordered them to leave on the grounds that their rally constituted an illegal assembly. The students tried to persuade police that they were delivering “presents” to the Presidential Office. But the police continued to block them, adding that they were violating the law by blocking traffic during rush hour with the 2m cabin.

The students later sent several representatives to communicate with the Presidential Office, which agreed that the cabin could be delivered there during office hours yesterday. Minor clashes occurred, however, when police officers from the Zhongzheng Second Precinct forcefully removed the cabin.

In a related development, the Wild Strawberry Student Movement yesterday called on its participants to attend the memorial service of Liu Po-yen (劉柏煙), a former Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) member who passed away last week after self-immolating in protest against Ma at the Liberty Square of the Taiwan Democracy Memorial Hall last month.

The memorial will be held in Nantou on Jan. 3.

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