National Taiwan University student Hung Chung-yen (洪崇晏) yesterday denied being the “mastermind” behind the demonstration outside the Zhongzheng First Police Precinct station on Friday, but showed his support for the cause by attending an event yesterday outside the Legislative Yuan in Taipei organized by groups seconding the Alliance of Referendum for Taiwan’s petition to make the plaza in front of the legislature a place where people can congregate.
The demonstration outside Taipei’s Zhongzheng First Police Precinct office was triggered by police’s forced eviction of protesters from the plaza — which the alliance had occupied since day one of the students’ seizure of the Legislative Yuan’s chamber — and its subsequent announcement that it had permanently revoked all assembly and parade permits for the group.
Hung yesterday said that he — like the other protesters — went to Friday’s event in response to a call circulating on the Internet earlier that day urging the public to “pass by” the police station.
Photo: Liu Hsin-de, Taipei Times
“If there was a mastermind of the protest, it would be President Ma [Ying-jeou’s, 馬英九] administration and those executive agencies who turned a blind eye to the public’s calls and expressions of dissent,” he said.
“I will not try to avoid any criminal charges I might be accused of for ‘violating’ the unconstitutional Assembly and Parade Act (集會遊行法). I want to show the ridiculousness of this ‘bad law,’” Hung added.
The clause of the act regarding the need to obtain authorities’ approval before staging a protest was ruled unconstitutional by the Council of Grand Justices earlier this year.
At yesterday’s rally, Anti-Nuclear Action Alliance convener Kao Cheng-yan (高成炎) criticized the legislature for failing to hold a scheduled floor meeting yesterday, making it impossible for it to receive the plaza petition.
“What was the point of chasing the students away from the occupied chamber so desperately then?” he asked.
Calling on the legislature to return the plaza to the people, he said that the Legislative Yuan’s front gate did not exist when the 520 Peasant movement broke out in 1988.
“In addition, I petitioned several times for the anti-nuclear cause in the 1990s on the front plaza without applying for a permit,” Kao said, adding that in 1999, the space was also used by hunger-strikers demanding the passage of a referendum act.
Taiwan Environmental Protection Union secretary-general Andy Tung (董建宏) said the space in front of the legislature’s building should be used to enable public participation, instead of muting people’s voices.
Hung also underlined the need for the public to keep demanding that the government probe the forced dispersion of alliance protesters.
“This case should not simply end with the police reinstating the alliance’s right to assembly,” he said, adding that someone has to be held accountable for the erroneous decision.
Rebuffing accusations that he harbors a grudge against the police, Hung said that he has supported the establishment of a police labor union since last year, when he took to the streets with officers’ families to call for better treatment of law enforcement personnel.
DIPLOMATIC MOVES: Beijing is reportedly pressing the state after reports of forming links with Taiwan, while the ministry is also planning to reopen its office in Guam soon A representative office is set to open in Somaliland at the end of this month, at the earliest, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) said yesterday amid reports that Beijing is sending a diplomatic delegation to the east African country. The ministry on July 1 announced that Taiwan and Somaliland would establish representative offices, following a report by the Somaliland Chronicle Web site. It said at the time that the two nations did not plan to establish formal ties. Somaliland President Muse Bihi Abdi has instructed close confidants to explore the possibility of “mutual recognition between Taiwan and Somaliland,” the Somaliland Chronicle reported
‘IMMORAL, INSINCERE’: Huang Kun-huei said that Ma was ‘distorting history’ in claiming that Lee Teng-hui laid the foundation for the so-called ‘1992 consensus’ Former Presidential Office secretary-general Huang Kun-huei (黃昆輝) on Saturday rejected former president Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) claim that former president Lee Teng-hui (李登輝) had been a proponent of Beijing’s “one China” principle. Lee, who served as president from 1988 to 2000, died in Taipei on Thursday last week. After visiting the Taipei Guest House on Saturday to pay his respects to Lee, Ma posted on Facebook that “28 years ago on this day” Lee hosted a session of the now-defunct National Unification Council, during which he passed a resolution on the “one China” principle. That resolution became the basis of the Chinese Nationalist Party’s
NEW ERA: Taiwan, which has controlled its virus outbreak, now faces the challenge of safely resuming economic exchanges with other nations, Chang Shan-chwen said People should not focus entirely on having zero new confirmed COVID-19 cases in Taiwan, but neglect overall control over the disease situation, Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) specialist advisory panel convener Chang Shan-chwen (張上淳) said yesterday. Chang made the remark at a forum in Taipei discussing the steps Taiwan should take in the post-pandemic era, organized by the Chinese-language magazine Global Views Monthly. Chang, Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Director-General Chou Jih-haw (周志浩), and Stanford University’s Center for Policy, Outcomes and Prevention director C. Jason Wang (王智弘) each made a presentation, followed by a panel discussion with Chang, Wang and Buddhist Tzu
A Belgian man who tested positive for COVID-19 in Taiwan last week is likely to have contracted the disease in Taipei in late June, National Taiwan University (NTU) College of Public Health vice dean Tony Chen (陳秀熙) said yesterday. The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) on Saturday reported that the man, who is in his 20s, came to Taiwan for work on May 3 and tested positive on Wednesday last week as he was about to depart. The man in March reported loss of taste and smell, the center said, adding that he worked in Changhua County, but visited Taipei several times,