Sat, Mar 22, 2014 - Page 3 News List

LEGISLATIVE SIEGE: Taiwanese abroad rally in support of student protesters

By Chang Ling-chu and Jake Chung  /  Staff reporter, with staff writer

A number of Taiwanese students abroad have expressed their support for the students occupying the Legislative Yuan in Taipei to protest against the cross-strait service trade agreement.

An event titled “Vigil for justice and democracy for Taiwan” on Thursday evening at Kendall Square in Cambridge, Massachusetts, was staged by Taiwanese students studying at various schools in Boston and the surround communities.

“Since Tuesday evening, Taiwanese students have occupied the legislature in Taipei as a peaceful protest against the Chinese Nationalist Party’s (KMT) management of a highly controversial cross-strait service trade agreement between KMT-run Taiwan and China. The students call upon the KMT to abide by all the procedures and laws of Taiwan’s democracy and not to operate with impunity and in secrecy,” a statement issued by the event’s organizers said.

“The purpose of this peace vigil is to speak out for democracy and transparency in Taiwan. We are not against China. We believe a healthy, strong democracy in Taiwan is in everyone’s best interests, including the people of China,” the statement added.

Meanwhile, more than 200 Taiwanese gathered on Thursday at the campus of the University of Toronto as a show of support for the student protesters occupying the legislative chamber.

The crowd included Taiwanese students, Canadians and Taiwanese on working holidays.

Event organizer Wu Po-hung (吳伯宏) said the students had taken over the Legislative Yuan to show their resolve to protect the nation’s interests, adding that despite the inevitable violent entry into the legislative chamber, the majority of students have kept order, been polite and have called for people to be rational.

“What we would like to see from the government, a responsible government, are actions that show they have heard the voice of the people and are willing to hear it,” Wu said.

Wu added that students and Taiwanese expatriates near the University of British Columbia and the Simon Fraser University plan to hold an event today in front of the Vancouver Art Gallery, the venue of the annual Taiwan Cultural Festival, as a show of support for the student protesters.

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