Tue, Mar 10, 2015 - Page 4 News List

Taipei 101 demonstrators could face limits: mayor

By Abraham Gerber  /  Staff Reporter

Taipei would like see clearer rules applied to protest activities in the plaza in front of Taipei 101, Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) said yesterday.

“There is nothing wrong with the plaza serving to display Taiwan’s democracy and freedom, but there must be standards,” Ko said.

He said the city government would seek to establish a special “protest zone” on the site, while adding that the final policy would hinge on talks with the management of the Taipei 101 building, which administers the plaza.

In response to questions on how the city would response to a suit filed yesterday by the pro-unification Concentric Patriotism Association (愛國同心會) accusing the police department of infringing on their rights, Ko said that everything would be done in accordance with the law, but that group members should be more civilized when expressing their views.

As Taipei 101 is one of the most popular attractions for Chinese tourists in Taipei, Falun Gong practitioners and Taiwan independence advocates have regularly demonstrated at the site.

While most of the demonstrations have been peaceful without police interference, in recent years, pro-China groups — including the Concentric Patriotism Association — have often showed up, not only to campaign for their cause, but also allegedly to attack people who disagree with them.

Last week, association executive director Zhang Xiuye (張秀葉), a Chinese immigrant, was arrested on charges of verbally abusing police officers and interrupting official business, leading members of the group to file lawsuits against the mayor and Xinyi Police Precinct Chief Wu Ching-tien (吳敬田).

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