Protesters blocked Premier Lin Chuan’s (林全) car and allegedly threw road cones at it at his home in Taipei yesterday as they sought to halt a planned demolition of homes in New Taipei City.
About 12 students affiliated with the Taiwan Anti-Forced Eviction Alliance struggled with police as they blocked the car as it emerged from his residence, throwing themselves onto the hood before being dragged off by police.
The protesters called for Lin to “face the music.”
Photo courtesy of Daguan Self-help Group
The group supports residents of the Daguan (大觀) community in New Taipei City’s Banciao District (板橋), with the community facing demolition ordered by a nearby military retirees’ home that owns the land.
The protesters say the site was constructed by military personnel and their families in conjunction with the National Women’s League to service a “military dependents’ village” that predates the retirement home.
Large numbers of military personnel and their families settled in the dependents’ village, which was built on government-owned land, after they followed the Republic of China government to Taiwan following the Chinese Nationalist Party’s (KMT) defeat in the Chinese Civil War.
“Lin Chuan himself was born in a military dependents’ village. How can he not feel empathy for Daguan residents?” group member Cheng Chung-hao (鄭仲皓) said, adding that the Executive Yuan was the “bloody hand” behind the “activation” policies on government-owned land responsible for numerous demolitions and forced evictions.
Group member Chen Kuan-po (陳冠博) said they took the protest to Lin’s home only after the Executive Yuan showed a lack of “sincerity” in addressing a series of protests and petitions.
“Every time we give them an official petition, they just confirm reception and state that it will be forwarded to the Veterans Affairs Council, a completely meaningless action,” Chen said.
After Lin’s car departed, the protesters marched to the Executive Yuan, posting “wanted posters” of Lin on its gates.
“We are here on a search,” Cheng said, vowing that protests would follow Lin “like a shadow” until the group gets a response.
“We hope that when you [Lin] go to work, you will see these and know that Daguan residents are looking for you,” he said.
The Executive Yuan condemned the attempts to block the premier’s vehicle and urged the police to press charges against people who compromise public safety.
Protesters blocked traffic and hurled traffic cones at Lin’s car when his motorcade departed from Lin’s home in Daan District (大安), Executive Yuan spokesman Hsu Kuo-yung (徐國勇) said.
The land that Daguan community is built on is owned by the government and occupation of the land is illegal, Hsu said.
The government pressed charges against some of the residents — those who occupied more than one housing unit, ran businesses from occupied properties or sublet their units — in 1994, and the legal proceedings were concluded in 2014 with courts ruling that residents had to demolish the homes and return the properties and illegal gains.
Among the 79 households in the community, 21 have moved out and returned the property to the government.
A demolition on April 10 removed only the empty properties, but the contractor accidentally damaged electrical facilities serving some occupied units, Hsu said, adding that the power supply was restored.
To ensure the housing rights of underprivileged residents, the Veteran Affairs Council, which manages the land, has relocated three residents and two veterans with urgent housing need, Hsu said.
DISTRUST WARRANTED? The WHO is under China’s control and has become a useless organization, while data from China cannot be trusted, a Control Yuan member said China’s demand that the novel coronavirus that emerged in Wuhan, Hubei Province, not be referred to with names like the “Wuhan pneumonia” betrays its lack of confidence in itself, Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) told lawmakers yesterday. Democratic Progressive Party Legislator Tsai Yi-yu (蔡易餘) asked Su, during a interpellation at the Legislative Yuan in Taipei, for his view on China’s attempts to redeem its national image in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. These included China’s efforts to “bleach” its image, including having WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus publicly praise its handling of the COVID-19 outbreak, and thanking it for buying time
TOO TIRED: Investigators found that the pilot’s lack of alertness could be attributed to a lack of sleep the previous night, when he had slept with his child It was a copilot’s inappropriate operation of the aircraft and the pilot’s insufficient alertness that led to a hard landing of a China Airlines cargo flight on Dec. 13, 2018, the Taiwan Transportation Safety Board said yesterday. Flight CI6844, a Boeing 747-409 which departed from Hong Kong International Airport, landed on the pre-threshold area of runway L5 at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport, about 21m before the head of the runway, an investigation report said. The hard landing damaged three runway lights, but none of the personnel on board sustained any injuries, the report said. When approaching the runway, the copilot failed to maintain
REPEAT OFFENDER: The man went outside for exercise on Wednesday and then left his home on Saturday with his girlfriend, officials said A New Taipei City man has been fined NT$400,000 (US$13,221) and ordered into government quarantine after breaking home quarantine for a second time on Saturday. The 25-year-old man, surnamed Chen (陳) returned to Taiwan on Sunday last week and was ordered to home quarantine until Sunday. He was seen leaving his home on a scooter with his girlfriend on Saturday, three days after he was fined NT$200,000 for going outside to exercise, police said. Chen has now been placed in a quarantine center arranged by the district office and health center of the district where he lives, police said. Police warned the public
Taipei residents who stay at hotels in the city during their 14-day mandatory quarantine period are eligible to apply for the city’s NT$7,000 subsidy, with online applications to be launched next week. Taipei Deputy Mayor Vivian Huang (黃珊珊) on Monday said Taipei residents who have COVID-19 Health Declaration and Home Quarantine Notice dated after March 19 and a quarantine hotel receipt for the dates covered by the quarantine period, would be eligible for the subsidy. The Taipei City Government on Sunday told the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) that so many city residents are under home quarantine that about 90 percent of