Parties split on possible Dapu protest charges
By Katherine Wei, The China PostThe ruling party yesterday voiced its support for the “818 Dapu protestors” to be punished if they had indeed violated the Assembly and Parade Act, while the main opposition party stated that the people had been forced into action by the government.
August 22, 2013, 11:38 am TWN
Surrounded by an ad hoc sit-in after the “818: Take Back the State, Demolish the Government” protest on Ketagalan Boulevard ended, the Ministry of the Interior (MOI) was sprayed with paint and shut most of its doors to the public as a response. After the sit-in ended, the MOI reportedly collected evidence around the buildings to prove that the protesters had violated the law.
According to MOI Minister Lee Hong-yuan (李鴻源), the protestors involved in the sit-in — an unauthorized event — may have violated the Assembly and Parade Act and committed vandalism; they will definitely be arrested if the violation of law stands. “This is not about politics,” Lee claimed.
All are equal in front of the law; the evidence will speak about whether the protestors had vandalized government property, said Kuomintang (KMT) Legislator Lin Hung-chih (林鴻池). “If they did not break the law then we don't want to do them injustice,” said Lin.
However, Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Wu Ping-jui (吳秉叡) slammed the KMT for changing its attitude toward the Assembly and Parade Act. “The KMT had called for the abolishment of the act during its days as an opposition party, but now it is using the act to quell the protesting people,” said Wu.
DPP Legislator Chen Chi-mai (陳其邁) agreed with Wu and added that the act is an evil decree. What the government is doing now is to arrest the people for punishment and using the evil law as a prop. “If the government keeps this up, it is simply forcing the people to revolt,” Chen said.
The Legislature had asked for the administrative departments responsible for the Dapu house-razing to act in accordance with the discussion results of the Cabinet and the Dapu residents, but the government decided to go against the Legislature's demand and is actually planning on arresting the protestors, said Chen, who also claimed that the Legislative Yuan will be demanding that the National Police Agency submit a report on its “inappropriate” methods of law enforcement.