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September 20, 2017

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Carnation counter protest set for today

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- Three organizations are scheduled to launch so-called Carnation Movement protests in Taipei this Saturday to counter the Sunflower Movement and demand that students exit the Legislative Yuan.

It has been over 11 days since the students who oppose the Cross-Strait Trade in Services Agreement occupied the Legislative Yuan, which was the beginning of the Sunflower Movement.

However, three major organizations, the Kuomintang (KMT) Youth Association (國民黨全國青工總會), an organization founded by families of police officers and the White Justice Social Alliance (白色正義社會聯盟) will launch three protests a day before citizens and students protesting against the controversial Cross-Strait Trade in Services Agreement join an extended demonstration to be held on Ketagalan Boulevard on Sunday.

According to the protest organizers, beginning from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, the protest will start off at National Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall and the protesters will walk to Legislative Yuan to hand carnations to students who occupy the Legislative Yuan and ask them to end the protest immediately.

If the students who occupy the Legislative Yuan do not accept the request, the Carnation Movement organizers said they will go to Ketagelan Boulevard on Sunday to counter the protest launched by the Sunflower Movement.

A police officer's wife, surnamed Yang, who is also one of the Carnation Movement protest organizers, said that the occupation of the Legislative Yuan has been going on for over 10 days, and the policemen have been taking shifts for over 10 days, keeping them from returning to their homes to rest.

Through the Carnation Movement protest, Yang said, the students who occupy the Legislative Yuan can learn how to be respectful to each other and to reach an area of agreement despite a difference of opinions, which is the true meaning of democracy.

The White Justice Social Alliance, which was founded on Facebook by college students, said that they want to express their opinions through rational and peaceful means.

The KMT Youth Association said that its main goals are to support the service trade pact, review the pact clause-by-clause, and to express their disapproval of the national flag being hung upside-down.

Tseng Wen-pei, the head of the KMT Youth Association, said that they are launching the protest in order to speak for the silent majority, and the action has nothing to do with the KMT.

According to Tseng, unlike students who occupy the Legislative Yuan, they will use a rational and peaceful method to speak for themselves. Tseng said that all the protesters will hold a carnation and use it to write the character "home" in Chinese, hoping the students and the police can go home soon.

Support from Other Organizations

Sun Chien-ping of the Civil Justice Alliance (公民正義聯盟) yesterday said that it is time for the students to return the Legislative Yuan to the government.

Sun said that in the past 10 days people have begun to unfriend each other on Facebook for having different views on the service trade pact issue.

According to Sun, most people in Taiwan are kind and righteous, so everyone should stop treating each other as enemies and step out on Saturday to speak their minds.

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