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Military, police raise warning level for Sunday protest

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- The Zhongzheng First Precinct of the Taipei City Police Department yesterday approved a protest to be held by student activists, according to an official statement. The legal time for the protest runs from Sunday, March 30 at 1 p.m. to 12 a.m on Monday.

In a statement from the Zhongzheng Police Department on Friday night, traffic controls on Ketagalan Boulevard (凱達格蘭大道) and Gongyuan Road (公園路) will be put into effect at 10 p.m. on Friday. The ending time for these controls will depend on conditions around the protest area on Sunday.

A police official stressed that forced eviction is an option if protesters do not disperse after 12 a.m. on Monday, or if someone deliberately causes trouble.

Based on its statement, the military police, which is in charge of the safety of the Presidential Office, will cooperate with the Zhongzheng Police Department and prepare control safety measures.

In light of their experience of the occupation of the Executive Yuan on March 23, the military police will “carry no batons,” but will instead “enforce capturing skills with bare hands” on anyone who trespasses onto the grounds of the Presidential Office. The military will take action in groups of three and collaborate with the police to transfer those caught in the act.

The military also said that the first line of barricades will be set up on Huaining Street (懷寧街), two blocks from the presidential office, to increase the strength of security forces.

A massive deployment of police will be in charge of the first line. Meanwhile, the areas surrounding the Presidential Office will be guarded by military personnel stationed at Camp 211 under the jurisdiction of the 202 Military Police Command, according to the military. Barricades and barbed wired will also be put near the office.

As for safety measures around the Executive Yuan, the number of police has expanded from 200 before last Sunday to 500 policemen daily during the past week.

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