The anti-nuclear sit-in on Taipei’s Zhongxiao W Road was “a hijacking” led by the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), Taipei Mayor Hau Lung-bin (郝龍斌) said yesterday in response to questions by Taipei City councilors over the forced eviction of the protesters occupying the main thoroughfare in front of the Taipei Railway Station.
Hau, a member of the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT), was criticized by Taipei City councilors from the DPP for ordering police to disperse the protesters as he reported to the city council about the protest.
Police used water cannons dozens of times to dispel the peaceful protesters throughout the eviction on Sunday and yesterday.
Saying that Hau’s report “blames everything on the public,” DPP Taipei City Councilor Juan Chao-hsiung (阮昭雄) said that people would not have to resort to street protests if the administration governed well.
DPP Taipei City Councilor Tung Chung-yen (童仲彥) played footage showing protesters being manhandled by police officers and said that police had also treated reporters violently and chased them from the scene.
Tung then tore up the city government’s report and threw the pieces toward Hau.
Before the session, Hau said that it is his duty as city mayor to protect residents from being affected by protests on a working day.
Describing the order to disperse the protesters as “a reluctant, but necessary” call, the mayor said he had urged the police to restore the flow of traffic along Zhongxiao E and Zhongxiao W roads.
Apparently irritated when a DPP councilor called him “the man pulling the strings behind the curtain,” Hau said that the DPP had been the one pulling the strings.
He accused DPP leaders, legislators and councilors of taking the protesters to the streets with them, “but then being incapable of dispelling them” and disappearing when the police arrived to evict the anti-nuclear activists.
Hau said the DPP led the road’s occupation in a bid to “blackmail Taipei residents” and said that the party had “treated Taipei residents as enemies.”
“It was no different that a hijacking,” he added.