Authorities said today 183 security officers and one civilian were injured in a clash between police and dissidents holding a rally for World Human Rights Day on Monday night in the southern port of Kaohsiung.
Police commissioner Kung Ling-cheng said two people were arrested on charges of assault and interference with public duty. Police sources said they were released on bail.
Formosa magazine, which began publication in September, is urging an end to one party rule by the Kuomintang.
Rally organizers had not obtained advance approval for the rally as required under martial law, police said.
Kung said the magazine's publisher, Taiwanese legislator Huang Hsin-chia, had assured authorities there would not be a demonstration on Monday night.
General Wang Ching-hsu, commander of the Taiwan Garrison Command, said in a statement: "A few unlawful elements held an illegal meeting at the Formosa magazine's headquarters in Kaohsiung on the night of Dec. 10, instigating the public to violent acts and openly breaching public order."
"We will not be lenient," Wang said, adding that his command would launch an immediate investigation.
He said the magazine was using the issue of democracy as a cover to attack the government, destroy unity on Taiwan and instigate public violence.
At a news briefing, Kung said 400 to 500 people clashed with police trying to block the demonstration. The total crowd was estimated at 10,000. Security forces were equipped with helmets, clubs and shields, but not guns.
The Associated Press,from Dec. 11, 1979
Dateline, Taipei, Taiwan
Taiwanese security agencies arrested 14 opposition activists in a move representing an apparent shift from government policy of allowing publication of opposition magazines and approving some anti-government rallies.
Those detained are accused of having been "insidious plotters" of an anti-government riot in Kaohsiung. At the same time, the government has banned publication of Formosa magazine, with which all 14 were connected.
New York Times
Dec. 14, 1979
Taipei Mayor Lee Teng-hui said yesterday that on the basis of the country's current situation, and on the basis of the security and welfare of the city's two million plus residents, no conspirators will be allowed to instigate crowds, assemble illegally, or create violent incidents that will undermine public order.
Lee also called on the people to denounce and punish the violent conspirators to maintain peace. If anyone intends to start any trouble, do not follow their lead with a spectator's attitude, so as not to be used by the conspirators, Lee said.
Dec. 13, 1979
Elements of the so-called Taiwan Indepen-dence Movement and their foreign friends are expected to claim that the arrests were political persecutions. But people with a modicum of common sense understand that the government could not have acted otherwise.
The Formosa magazine which organized the riot is a publication openly sowing seeds of disunity when free China's survival depends solely on national unity, and it advocates vio-lence to overthrow the government. Even so, the government tolerated its continuous publication in the hope that those associated with the magazine would sooner or later realize their mistakes and join the mainstream of the nation to work toward the restoration of democracy on the Chinese mainland.
But the magazine's publisher and its staff took the government's leniency for weakness and decided to start open insurrection at a time when the Chinese communist regime is doing everything possible to explore any vulnerability it can find in free China.
The magazine staff deliberately chose Dec. 10 to stage the rally in free China, nominally in commemoration of Human Rights Day, because it was the first day of the annual winter security alert.
Two days after the [Dec. 10] incident, officials of the magazine still stood in defiance threatening to repeat the riot in Taipei on Dec. 16.
Faced with the situation, the government was compelled to act. People in the Republic of China on Taiwan reacted to the crackdown with jubilation; they know that failure to act would mean anarchy and the doom of the country.
Dec. 18, 1979
Taiwan government radio, monitored by the BBC.
Excerpts from commentary, "The maintenance of law and order"
"On the 10th of this month, staff at the Kaohsiung office of the Formosa magazine started a bloody riot under the pretext of hosting a gathering for human rights. Even in democratic countries, behavior such as assaulting police and ruining public order are by no means `democratic.' This is called `mobocracy,' and should be condemned by anyone who favors democracy."
Dec. 13, 1999
Members of the Formosa magazine held a press conference yesterday, trying to shift the blame for the riot in Kaohsiung, saying the police should not have tried to halt the illegal parade.
It is a shameless lie that underestimates the intelligence of the public.
Central Daily News
Dec. 13, 1979
For a society seeking stability and prosperity, the riots and violent behavior shown by the people of the Formosa magazine are undoubtedly a destabilizing threat. Apart from feeling the pain of its consequences, the media, the government, and the general public should reflect on and evaluate what happened."
United Daily News
Editorial, Dec. 12, 1979
The unfortunate incident that occurred in a crowded district of Kaohsiung City on the evening of the 10th, when Formosa magazine staff attacked security personnel, not only cast a shadow on the normally peaceful and quiet city, but the behavior also proved that the magazine was a lawless organization. They deserve the public and private condemnation and contempt they have received.
Dec. 12, 1979
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