Twenty students have formed a “226 Self-Help Association” to protest alleged police misconduct during a demonstration calling for democracy in China on Saturday.
The association, comprising students from National Taiwan University, National Tsing Hua University, National Chengchi University and Tunghai University, said that while the group had no intention of breaking the law and there was no evidence that they had, its members were treated “brutally” by people who claimed to be police officers, ending what they said was an otherwise peaceful protest.
The students’ activity on Saturday was in support of a so-called “Jasmine Revolution” in China and to convey calls for democratization in China while Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Strait (ARATS) Chairman Chen Yunlin (陳雲林) was attending a banquet in Taipei’s Xinyi District (信義).
Standing at a cross-section, the students were blocked by about 40 plainclothes policemen while shouting slogans such as “Start political reform, end one-party rule” and “support the Jasmine Revolution.”
Soon afterwards, plainclothes officers said “take them in,” claiming the students were violating the Assembly and Parade Act (集會遊行法).
“If they were police and we were in violation of the law, why didn’t they show us their badges and cordon off the sector as stated in the regulations?” the students asked.
The students recorded the events and uploaded the footage to Youtube. They also released an article alleging the so-called plainclothes officers “wore neither a uniform nor a badge,” which they said was likely in violation of the Police Duties Enforcement Act (警察職權行使法) — if they indeed were police officers.
“Such acts represent a serious disruption to social justice and public order in a democratic open country such as Taiwan,” the students said.
The association says it hopes the authorities will investigate the matter and publicize the truth, and that the perpetrators will be penalized and apologize to the students and society as a whole.