Taiwan Solidarity Union (TSU) members in the early hours of yesterday staged a protest outside the presidential residence ahead of China’s scheduled inauguration of the controversial M503 flight route today.
Protesters shouted: “Withdraw the M503 flight route” and “President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九), step down.”
Loud screams broke the quiet night near the presidential residence when several men and women holding protest signs arrived by van and motorcycle, and ran toward the entrance gate on Chongqing S Road in Taipei.
Photo: Fang Pin-chao, Taipei Times
Security guards were immediately alerted, with several plainclothes officers rushing to the site of the protest and quickly confronting the participants.
However, as officers tried to gain control of the situation in front of the gate, another group of protesters arrived at the northeastern corner of the presidential residence, spreading red paint on a wall.
More officers rushed from across the street, wielding metal shields and batons.
“We are here to demand that Ma decline to accept China’s inauguration of the M503 flight route, because it is a trap for Taiwan, and Ma is selling out Taiwan’s interests,” TSU Youth director Chang Chao-lin (張兆林) said as he was dragged away by security personnel.
“We call on all Taiwanese to stand up, we should all stand up in protest against Ma,” he added.
Besides clashes with the protesters, there were also minor verbal disputes between military police officers and journalists, as officers initially tried to prohibit journalists from taking pictures of the paint-splattered wall.
A total of 13 protesters were later taken to the nearby Zhongzheng Second Police Precinct Office for interrogation.
Deputy Precinct Chief Yu Tseng-hsiang (于增祥) said the protesters who threw red paint at the presidential residence would be charged with violating the Waste Disposal Act (廢棄物清理法).
Each was fined NT$6,000 for the waste disposal violations. Eight protesters also faced charges of interfering with public functions over the clash, a police officer said.
Presidential Office spokesman Charles Chen (陳以信) condemned the protest as an “act of violence.”
“The Republic of China is a democracy, and Taiwan is a society with the rule of law,” he said. “Any political appeal should be made based on the rule of law, and not surpass the boundary of being peaceful and rational.”
The protesters were released after questioning, and vowed to take further actions if the government does not respond positively to their demands.
HONG KONG SECURITY: The president blasted regulations requiring Taiwanese agents or political organizations to provide information on their Hong Kong-related activities President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) yesterday warned of countermeasures should controversial Chinese national security legislation imposed on Hong Kong undermine or harm Taiwanese interests. Article 43 of the legislation empowers the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region to serve written notices to Taiwanese political organizations or individual agents to furnish information on their Hong Kong-related activities, including their personal particulars, finances, assets, expenditure and capital in the territory. Failure to comply or providing false or incomplete information can result in a fine of HK$100,000 (US$12,903) or imprisonment of six months or two years respectively. Tsai said that Taiwan would keep a close watch on how
PROBE LAUNCHED: An officer who served as a supervisor in the drill died in an apparent suicide after the accident, which was caused by unexpected waves Two marines who were on Friday injured in a military exercise in the waters off Kaohsiung passed away yesterday, Navy Command said. The marines — surnamed Tsai (蔡), 26, and a sergeant surnamed Chen (陳), 36 — were in a seven-member Marine Corps team that encountered rough seas during a simulated response to enemy forces landing on Taiwan. Their rubber craft overturned in waters off Taoziyuan (桃子園) beach in Zuoying District (左營), injuring four of the marines. They were rushed to hospital, where three of them — Tsai, Chen and a 34-year-old sergeant — were taken to an intensive care unit
MORAL COURAGE: The Ministry of Foreign Affairs urged the global community to face China’s intention to subdue Taiwan and reject such irrational requests The Ministry of Foreign Affairs yesterday strongly condemned the Chinese government for meddling with US officials’ interactions with Taiwan after FBI Director Christopher Wray revealed China’s efforts to discourage US officials from visiting Taiwan. The greatest long-term threat to the US’ information security and intellectual property, as well as its economic vitality, is China’s counterintelligence and economic espionage operations, Wray told a video event at the Hudson Institute in Washington. Beijing is engaged in a highly sophisticated and maligning foreign influence campaign, with methods that include bribery, blackmail and covert deals, he said. Giving an example, Wray said that when a US official
CAUTION: Taiwan had zero cases of death from food poisoning for six years until last year, when two people died after eating wildlife, an FDA official said The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) yesterday urged the public not to eat wildlife or unidentified wild plants, as they could be fatal, with nearly 7,000 people affected by food poisoning last year, including two deaths due to wildlife consumption. The number of food poisoning incidents increased by nearly 50 percent last year, from 398 cases involving 4,616 people in the previous year to 503 cases involving 6,944 people, FDA data showed. That figure was the second-highest in history, the FDA said, adding that the highest number was recorded in 1997, with 7,235 people. Among the 503 cases, 87 were food poisoning clusters