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September 26, 2017

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Protest leader says lawmakers should pay for damage to LY

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- In a brazen statement Thursday, the leader of the students occupying the Legislative Yuan said that any damages caused by their protest should come out of lawmakers' pockets as atonement for disappointing the Taiwanese people.

Lin Fei-fan said that he and other students decided to occupy the Legislature and bring parliamentary activity to a halt because the system was already broken by lawmakers.

Lin, whose protest movement grew out of anger with the way the trade-in services pact with China was fast-tracked through the Legislature, led as many as 200 students and demonstrators to occupy the main legislative chamber on March 18.

Their 10 day occupation has caused damage to the chairs, microphones and even some valuable paintings, Legislature administrators have said, though the exact amount of damages cannot yet be confirmed.

The day before the students stormed into the Legislatures, lawmakers engaged in a brawl over the services pact during which the ruling Kuomintang (KMT) sidestepped an item-by item review to push the pact straight to a floor vote.

Both the KMT and its main rival party, the Democratic Progressive Party, have regularly engaged in obstructive delay tactics and fist-fights to stall legislation they oppose.

The student leader later claimed that he was only joking.

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