TRADE PACT SIEGE: Student leaders meet to decide on movement’s future

By Lee Ya-wen and Jake Chung  /  Staff reporter, with staff writer

Thu, Apr 10, 2014 - Page 3

Even as students occupying the Legislative Yuan’s main chamber prepare to vacate the venue today, student leaders Lin Fei-fan (林飛帆) and Chen Wei-ting (陳為廷) have been busy meeting with Sunflower movement members to decide on the movement’s next steps, as well as to put to rest question raised by some who alleged that the movement’s much-touted teamwork has been overridden by an elite group of decisionmakers.

Since March 18, students unhappy with the government’s handling of the cross-strait service trade pact have occupied the Legislative Yuan chamber to compel the government to ratify the pact through democratic means, as well as establishing legal oversight of all future cross-strait agreement negotiation processes.

Following the announcement by student leaders that the protesters would withdraw from the chamber by 6pm today, some volunteers and student protesters have expressed confusion and lack of direction after the occupation’s end.

Early yesterday morning, Lin and Chen met with student volunteers to discuss the next move after the protesters leave the Legislative Yuan today.

After nearly 45 minutes of deliberation with the protesters, consensus was reached that all opinions and questions should be brought up with a sector representative, to be brought up for deliberation by the group of decisionmakers after all information has been compiled. Each division could also send an extra representative to the decisionmaking meeting.

Lin and Chen again met with the student protesters yesterday evening.

Lin said that the meetings were primarily to ascertain the next steps the Sunflower movement would take after exiting the Legislative Yuan.

“We welcome the diversity of opinions, but we also need to agree on the specific contents of follow-up events,” Lin said.

So far it has been agreed that the movement will continue to organize a range of activities, including a tour of university campuses to give talks and putting pressure on legislators representing the constituency of supporters’ registered residency, Lin said.