TRADE PACT SIEGE: Student protester recounts eviction experiences

By Jake Chung  /  Staff writer

Fri, Mar 28, 2014 - Page 3

Student protesters wrote the telephone numbers of family members on the back of their hands because they were afraid they would not survive Monday’s forceful evacuation of the Executive Yuan premises, local media reported.

Chen Hung-chang (陳宏彰), a 27-year-old second-year graduate student at National Yang-Ming University, was quoted by the Chinese-language Apple Daily as saying on Tuesday that he went to support the occupation of the Executive Yuan after he saw a Facebook post by the band Chthonic.

Chen was quoted as saying that he followed others into the Executive Yuan building and was one of the 60 students who made it inside, adding that most of the students had been very tense because they heard that police were massing outside.

In the report, Chen said that to calm his nerves he struck up a conversation with a police officer, who was on duty, talking about everything from the farmers’ demonstration in 1988 to recent consumer price increases, the report said.

Chen said that the officer said the students had achieved what they wanted and should leave, but Chen responded that the students had taken over the premises and would only leave if they were carried out, the Apple Daily reported.

Before police entered, Chen said that one of the student representatives appointed to keep order told the protesters: “I can’t guarantee your safety or tell you what will happen next.”

A female protester responded that they came of their own accord, which prompted the protesters to begin chanting: “Reject the pact, defend democracy!”

The student representative then bowed to the student protesters, before being escorted out by police, Chen was quoted as saying.

Chen said that after he was carried outside, he saw officers hitting people to drive them away.

“It was the first time I have been an eyewitness to violence perpetrated by the government,” the student was quoted as saying.