Sat, Feb 23, 2013 - Page 4 News List

Presidential Office demo leader makes court appearance

By Loa Iok-sin  /  Staff reporter

Taoyuan County Confederation of Trade Unions chairman Mao Chen-fei (毛振飛) yesterday appeared at Taipei District Court after he was indicted for violation of the Assembly and Parade Act (集會遊行法) for his role in a demonstration in front of the Presidential Office in October last year.

Yesterday, supporters expressed their discontent with Lunar New Year “gifts” from the government by throwing red envelopes with the word “lawsuit” written on. They held signs that read “the president is incapable of leading the country, the people rise up to resist.”

Following a series of labor demonstrations last year and earlier this year — including throwing eggs toward the Presidential Office, staging a protest outside the Presidential Residence in which demonstrators threw cow dung and paralyzing rail transportation at Taipei Main Station — several labor activists have been arrested and charged with violation of the Assembly and Parade Act or for causing public hazard.

“I’m not the first [to face legal charges], and won’t be the last — the government forced us onto the streets, forced us to throw eggs and forced us to paralyze the railway, it’s all because the government is incapable,” Mao said outside the Taipei District Court.

“I am prepared to go to jail, I may suffer behind bars, but our brothers and sisters outside are suffering even more,” he said.

Mao said that he is not guilty, “the demonstration [on Oct. 28] was officially approved, it was peaceful, but we had to express our anger in some way.”

“If the court believes that I’ve broken the law, I will shoulder any responsibility that comes down to me,” he said.

Taipei City Confederation of Trade Unions executive director, Yuan Kung-chi (袁孔琪) supported Mao.

“With the president misleading the country, there’s nothing else we can do but challenge the social order to highlight the issues,” she said. “We will take further action, and we are willing to pay the price for it.”

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