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Hau did not authorize evictions: gov't

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- The Taipei City Government announced yesterday that the order of eviction enforced upon the Referendum Alliance (公投護台灣聯盟) on April 11 was not authorized by Taipei Mayor Hau Lung-bin (郝龍斌).

In light of the wide speculation that Hau had commanded the police to disperse protesting members of the alliance on the morning of April 11, Taipei City Government spokesman Chang Chi-chiang (張其強) officially denied the accusation on behalf of Hau, stating that Taipei Police Commissioner Huang Sheng-yung (黃昇勇) was the one who gave the order.

Reportedly, following authorization from Huang to evict protesting alliance members, the commissioner had informed Hau of his decision in accordance with the chain of command. Chang said that Hau was completely in support of police efforts during the ordeal and that as such, he will be responsible for any doubts the general public has toward police officers.

Hau himself responded to the media later yesterday, reiterating his decision to be supportive of the police force. Hau stressed that after student activists, the leading force of the Sunflower Movement, left the surrounding premise at night, the gatherers from the alliance who had opted to stay posed a potential disturbance to the Legislative Yuan's neighbors who have been patient and cooperative throughout the 23 days of demonstrations. Hence, said Hau, he felt that the non-violent dispersal of the remaining protestors by police was appropriate and in accordance with the law.

Upon further questioning from the media regarding Hau's lack of immediate response to the voluntary apology, claiming of responsibilities and subsequent offer of resignation by Taipei City Police Department Zhongzheng First Precinct Chief Fang Yang-ning (方仰寧), Hau replied that Huang had held a press conference in answer to Fang's actions and had explained the position of the city government.

Stating that the action of the police during the eviction was a decision made entirely within professional jurisdiction, Hau is in complete support of the police. Should any party question the police, Hau was quoted to have said “As mayor, I will take full responsibility.”

Alliance Petition for Right to Assemble

The Referendum Alliance urged Legislative Yuan Speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平) to open the front square of the Legislature yesterday, so that civilian groups and the general public can debate government policies as well as the pros and cons of the Cross-Strait Trade in Services Agreement and the cross-strait agreement supervisory act that will soon be established.

Led by alliance leader Tsai Ting-kuei (蔡丁貴), tension began to rise between the alliance and police officers gathered once more outside of the Legislature, until Tsai handed an unsigned petition on behalf of the alliance to Legislative Yuan Secretariat Director Yang Meng-Tao (楊夢濤) giving Wang a one-hour time limit to respond to their demands.

After the countdown was over, Tsai announced the termination of the operation. Tsai later urged his fellow supporters to return home to get ready to climb over the Legislature gates when the time is right. Should that operation fail, Tsai claimed that he would learn to operate a bulldozer to take down the walls of the Legislative Yuan.

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Referendum Alliance leader Tsai Ting-kuei delivers an unsigned petition on behalf of the alliance to Legislative Yuan Secretariat Director Yang Meng-Tao outside the Legislative Yuan, yesterday. After the demands were not met within the given time, Tsai announced that he will learn to operate a bulldozer to take down the walls of the Legislature.

(CNA)

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