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July 22, 2017

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Legislature occupation to last at least another week

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- The students currently holed up in the Legislative Yuan will not be backing off for at least another week, said student spokesperson Shih Yen-ting yesterday.

After remarking that the sit-in protest held on Sunday ended successfully and peacefully, student leader Lin Fei-fan (林飛帆) called for participants to continue the protest at the Legislative Yuan and held a press conference yesterday to emphasize the activists' determination.

Lin stated earlier that despite having 500,000 people participate in the protests, President Ma Ying-jeou continued to ignore their calls. "After reaching that number, (people) may think that this is the peak of our protest, but we will continue our occupation of the Legislature until the day President Ma is willing to make actual promises," said Lin. "We will not be giving up the Assembly Hall; this is our means to push for negotiations."

The on-street protest drew more people than the students had bargained for, giving them a boost in confidence to fight for a victory, said Shih.

Ma was merely repeating himself in Sunday's press conference without actually facing the demands of the 500,000 protesters, said Lin. "What we want is an actual solution, instead of flowery words."

Lin spoke about previous threats that he and fellow student activist Chen Wei-ting (陳為廷) had received via text messages, saying that there was no need to magnify the incident. "Everyone has different opinions, many are displeased with us and some supportive; this is normal," he noted.

In a second press conference yesterday, Lin reiterated his hopes of seeing the cross-caucus negotiation reach a consensus after two previous attempts failed.

Students Insist on Holding Citizen-government Meeting

The activists still call for the government to respond to their four requests. "We still call upon the Ma administration to withdraw the agreement, establish a legal supervisory system of cross-strait pacts, hold a conference with citizen representatives and pass a supervisory system before the pact is reviewed," said Lin.

The Executive Yuan decided yesterday that it will not hold a citizen-government conference like the students requested; a national affairs conference is slated to be held instead. In response to the decision, Lin noted that the students' focus was to have the government meet representatives from different fields, industry sectors and citizen groups; the effect would be different from the national affairs meeting.

The students have occupied the Legislative Yuan for over 10 days in a protest against the manner in which Kuomintang (KMT) lawmaker Chang Ching-chung (張慶忠) passed the pact and later submitted it to the Yuan Sitting.

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