Sat, Apr 12, 2014 - Page 3 News List

SIEGE AFTERMATH : Protesters complain about eviction, run into traffic

By Loa Iok-sin  /  Staff reporter

Protesters sleep in front of the Legislative Yuan in Taipei yesterday morning.

Photo: CNA

About 100 people who remained on the square in front of the Legislative Yuan were forcibly evicted by police yesterday morning, despite a promise by Zhongzheng First Police Precinct Chief Fang Yang-ning (方仰寧), and a protest leader was injured when he ran into traffic.

Demonstrators shouted: “Fang Yang-ning you are a liar” and “Down with [President] Ma Ying-jeou [馬英九]” as police officers expelled them from the area in front of the Legislative Yuan in a surprise action that began at about 6:40am — while many of the protesters were sleeping or having breakfast.

Alliance of Referendum for Taiwan convener Tsay Ting-kuei (蔡丁貴) ran onto Zhongshan S Road in front of the legislature, apparently upset at the police action, and was hit by a scooter and then a bus. He fell in the middle of the road and appeared to temporarily lose consciousness.

After he regained consciousness, Tsay tried to run into the road again, but was stopped by police and taken to a hospital.

Although there were only about 100 people left in the square at the time of the eviction, there had been 1,000 to 3,000 during the night after the majority of protesters occupying the legislative chamber withdrew on Thursday night.

A “bowel blossom forum” (大腸花論壇), a popular open-air forum that allows people to criticize the government or the Sunflower movement, was held in front of the legislature to entertain the crowd overnight.

Despite the forum, the crowd was restless as rumors that the police would clear the area continued to circulate, with many vowing to resist eviction.

At about 2:30am, Fang said the police were not under any time pressure to clear the area.

“The only thing we have to do is to make sure that the traffic on Zhongshan South Road is not disrupted during the morning rush hour,” Fang said.

“As for the crowd occupying the square in front of the Legislative Yuan’s main entrance, we are under no time pressure to evict them, as their presence will not hinder legislative activities,” he added.

Fang arrived at the demonstration site at about 3:30am to meet with Tsay, saying that the police had no plan to clear the area.

After the meeting, Tsay left the stage and shook hands with demonstrators in the square.

Many people left after 5am when the bowel blossom forum ended.

“I was suspicious when I heard that the police would not clear the area, but I trusted the precinct chief’s personal assurance, so I left the demonstration early,” a demonstrator surnamed Lin (林) said.

“Fang is such a liar,” another demonstrator, surnamed Hu (胡), said. “I left early because I thought the forced eviction would not happen and planned to come back later today [yesterday].”

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