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Thousands descend on Taipei Main to demand end to Legislature occupation

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- Around 3,000 protesters gathered at the Taipei Main Station Saturday to demand that hundreds of student protesters end their occupation of the Legislature as they do not represent the voices of all of Taiwan's 23 million people.

Chanting slogans such as “Give me back my parliament,” “Do the right thing” and “There is more than one voice in Taiwan,” the large crowd urged the students to end their action, begun March 18, which has ground the Legislature to a halt.

“We need the Legislature to resume as soon as possible because it is the real body that represents the Taiwanese people,” said Wang Pin-chung, who has just graduated from college.

The rally, initiated by the White Justice Social Union and made up of university students and working adults, was among a few counter-protests staged that day to urge the students to give up their “Sunflower Movement” and leave the Legislative Yuan.

Hundreds of white balloons and small national flags were also distributed as symbols of “peace and reason,” according to the union.

Union Spokesman Eric Chou, an associate professor of economics from National Tsing Hua University, said the students' occupation of parliament has prevented other people from expressing themselves through normal channels.

The legislative body still has to handle other important issues concerning the welfare of the public and it cannot afford to be paralyzed by the students, Chou said.

The union, which established a Facebook campaign March 24 to mobilize Saturday's event and promote peaceful discussions over the trade-in-services pact with China —the main reason behind the occupation of parliament — had drawn nearly 45,000 likes as of Saturday.

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