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Legislature occupiers demand pact rejection

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- Activist Chen Wei-ting (陳為廷), in the Assembly Hall of the Legislative Yuan, yesterday afternoon explained the demands of protesters who occupied the venue, saying the government should “reject” the Cross-Strait Trade in Services Agreement and restart negotiations, saying that President Ma Ying-jeou, Premier Jiang Yi-huah (江宜樺) and Legislative Yuan Speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平) should face the issue.

In addition, Chen declared that Kuomintang (KMT) lawmaker Chang Ching-chung (張慶忠) had violated legislative procedures.

If the Legislative Yuan fails to respond to the people, Chen said, the protesters would not rule out the possibility of “paralyzing” the Executive Yuan or the Presidential Office buildings.

Chang, who doubles as convener of the cross-committee deliberation meeting over the cross-strait pact, announced on Monday that the agreement had passed and was sent to the Yuan Sitting to be put into the record for future reference.

Following Chang's announcement, several civic groups gathered and camped outside the Legislative Yuan, voicing their anger and urging the Legislature to review the agreement article by article.

Protesters' Sudden Move Unstoppable

On Tuesday around 9 p.m., civic groups, including the Democratic Front Against Cross-strait Trade in Services Agreement (反黑箱服貿陣線), led over 200 protesters who broke through police lines outside the gates of the Legislative Yuan.

Protesters, most of them college students, stormed into the Assembly Hall, breaking the glass doors and blocking the entrances by piling up legislators' chairs to prevent police from entering. The protesters also took over the podium and rostrum in the meeting chamber.

Several physical altercations occurred between police and the protesters. Police attempted to enter the Assembly Hall twice at 3:30 a.m. and 5:20 a.m. yesterday, but attempts were repulsed by protesters.

Over 2,000 people have gathered outside of the Assembly Hall of the Legislative Yuan.

Activist Lin Fei-fan (林飛帆) announced on Tuesday night in the Assembly Hall that the occupation will last at least 63 hours.

38 Police Injured: NPA

A total of 38 police officers were injured during physical altercations with the protesters, National Police Agency (NPA) Director-General Wang Cho-chiun (王卓鈞) said yesterday, noting that one of the injured police was in critical condition for a period of time.

Wang said four activists, including a college student, were arrested during the protests and he urged protesters to stop occupying the Legislative Yuan. He added that the police will take further action depending on the situation.

Wang said a police officer, surnamed Chung, collapsed during a confrontation with protesters due to severe blockages in his lungs, noting that Chung's condition is currently stable, but he will remain at National Taiwan University Hospital (NTUH) for further observation.

Cabinet spokesman Sun Lih-chyun (孫立群) said given that the confrontation occurred at the Legislative Yuan, the Executive Yuan respects the Legislature's decision over the matter.

Wang urged protesters to remain calm, reasonable and to exhibit self-restraint, saying he hopes the protesters will soon let the Legislative Yuan handle the issue of the service trade pact in a rational manner.

March 20, 2014    edann77@
The experts say this agreement is necessary for Taiwan's future economic growth and health. Those with the intelligence to read and think are in general agreement. Taiwan's future cannot be held hostage by a bunch of losers, however young or old they may be. I don't want to see Taiwan further slide down the toilet due to a bunch of diehard juveniles.
March 20, 2014    antoniolin69@
A shame for Taiwan's democracy, though they labeled the movement as "Saving Democracy." Democracy would not tolerate violence. They say they represent the people. But how many? Do they know there are more people who approve the signature of the agreement? And there are more people in favor of the agreement keep silent? Do you know who is going to pay the damage? General election is closing. Politicians are trying their best to attract attention of voters. They may take advantage of the students’ movement and accumulate their political power. People know you all love Taiwan. People acknowledge the demand of the youngsters, but in a peaceful and democratic way. People will not tolerate violence, never! Don't be cheated and manipulated by politicians.
March 20, 2014    qwertyfoo@
The true shame is that KMT thinks it can bypass the (previously agreed to) review process and ram the trade agreement, negotiated in secret without input from local businesses or academics, into law. The citizens have a right to protest and demand accountability of the government. As much as this report may try to paint the protestors as a bunch of violent hooligans, we have actual report with live streaming video broadcast from inside the Legislative Yuan and it clearly shows that the protestors are neither violent nor do they lack an understanding of what's at stake here.
March 20, 2014    basilchicken@
The demonstrators are peaceful. The student activism should be applauded - they are doing something all politicians (blue or green) have not done - which is standing up to the ruling party. The main issue is that all parties in the legislature agreed to review the agreement item by item and conduct a vote accordingly - then, the ruling party went back on the agreement and announced the agreement passed out of committee without such review or vote. The article's title is wrong and misleading. The demonstrators want the agreement reviewed item by item. When over 70% of the population oppose the current version of the agreement, the government needs to listen.
March 21, 2014    taiwanindependencenow@
These brave students are true Taiwanese patriots, they just want to eliminate all chink incursions into our beautiful Formosa. Time to cleanse Taiwan of the chinks. LONG LIVE DEMOCRACY! LONG LIVE THE DEMOCRATIC PROGRESSIVE PARTY! LONG LIVE FREE TAIWAN! LONG LIVE THE GREAT NATION OF JAPAN! LONG LIVE THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA!
March 21, 2014    kingsolomon@
The government should reject the pact, this is the students’ demands who are very knowledgeable about this pact. They already have read and studied the pact from beginning to end, so it should be rejected because these students represent the whole people of Taiwan. These students are experts on the economics of Taiwan, besides beer drinking and destruction not to mention causing bodily injuries to others. Long live the economic demise of Taiwan as long as our political agenda is realized we don't care if our country suffers.
March 21, 2014    anotherdog58@
@antoniolin69: The fact that the government wants to push it through with this speed, points strongly that not many people are in favor with this agreement. KMT wants to have it done before the general elections you mention: KMT knows, this would cost significant votes if discussed before and during the elections.
The experts which edann77 quotes are essentially big businesses which are in favor for unification with the PRC. Short term economic growth and health does not show the big picture: This contract is a big push that Taiwan slides further down to unification (the “toilet” edann77 mentions). Do you want to have a situation like Hong Kong in Taiwan?
March 21, 2014    terplaw@
The trade pact must be delayed until AFTER the next Presidential and Legislative elections. The people no longer trust the anti-democratic actions and lies of Ma Ying Jeou and his corrupt KMT regime.
March 21, 2014    Yankee754@
Taiwan is a joke. It is not a country, never has been. It is a 'wanna be' country. The constitution is a joke, the legislature is unicameral so basically whatever party gets a majority runs the show, there is no rule of law so everything is done by guanxi (who your buddy buddy with), and the entire place comes down to food and money. These Taiwanese youngsters may think they are standing up for Taiwan, but seriously, if they had any guts they would enlist in the army willing to die for their 'country'.
March 23, 2014    lea_dra@
Don't betray the medium level businesses and the common people we would not benefit on this pact. The government would better have a referendum on this. I am sure, it will not be passed.
March 23, 2014    dpp4sale@
Stupid students & stupid parties misleading the public to make Taiwan stupid....
March 24, 2014    Shaggye@
taiwanindependencenow@ wrote:
These brave students are true Taiwanese patriots, they just want to eliminate all chink incursions into our beautiful Formosa. Time to cleanse Taiwan of the chinks. LONG LIVE DEMOCRACY! LONG LIVE THE DEMOCRATIC PROGRESSIVE PARTY! LONG LIVE FREE TAIWAN! LONG LIVE THE GREAT NATION OF JAPAN! LONG LIVE THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA!
Wow. Nice trolling.
March 24, 2014    skier_rich@
I was at the neighboring NTU Children's Hospital building from Thursday through Sunday, with an elevated view of the whole scene. These were not "Brave Taiwanese Students." They were roving masses of hoodlums, drinking beer and methodically destroying property. It was widespread, not just a few bad apples. I'm glad the police finally gave them a bath and forced them to go home.
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Students drink beer in the Assembly Hall after breaking through police lines and storming into the venue. (CNA)

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