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July 22, 2017

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Activists block off Legislature exits

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- Hundreds of anti-nuclear energy protesters yesterday afternoon blocked all the exits of the Legislative Yuan to prevent lawmakers from leaving the compound, shouting "go back to the meeting" and "abort Nuke 4 immediately" to all legislators who tried to leave the area.

Activist Tsay Ting-kuei (蔡丁貴) yesterday morning urged anti-nuclear energy protesters to block every exit of the Legislative Yuan to prevent lawmakers from leaving the compound.

Tsay said that the lawmakers were only to be allowed to enter the Legislature, stressing that they were forbidden to leave.

Demonstrators urged lawmakers to hold a meeting and announce the termination of the Fourth Nuclear Power Plant with immediate effect.

Kuomintang (KMT) lawmaker Lu Chia-chen (盧嘉辰) was besieged by hundreds of protesters for almost two hours, as he attempted to leave the Legislature at around 4 p.m.

Physical altercation occurred between police and demonstrators as the former were trying to separate the latter from Lu's car. Several police and protesters were injured.

Lu's car left the area at around 6 p.m. escorted by police officers. Following Lu's exit, hundreds of protesters staged a sit-in on Zhongxiao E. Rd., attempting to paralyze traffic.

Blues, Greens All Blocked

During lunchtime, ruling party and opposition lawmakers alike were blocked by demonstrators at the exit of an alleyway near the Legislature compound. Protesters demanded that the lawmakers return to the Legislative Yuan and resume the meeting.

A protester jumped on the hood of KMT lawmaker Lin Ming-chen's (林明溱) car and broke the windshield while the vehicle was being driven away from the Legislative Yuan. Another demonstrator who attempted to open the door and pull Lin out of the car was prevented from doing so by police. Several demonstrators were arrested on the scene.

Tsay, who was displeased by police methods, rushed toward a police officer and kicked him. The police officer in question and a couple of others immediately wrestled the activist to the ground. Afterward, Tsay fainted and was sent to a hospital for treatment.

When KMT lawmaker Chiang Huei-chen (江惠貞) told protesters that she needed to leave the Legislature and run some urgent errands, one of the protesters asked, "Did someone in your family die? Is that why you need to leave so soon?"

Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) lawmaker Hsiao Bi-khim (蕭美琴) said in a Facebook post that she wanted to return to her office at around 1 p.m. but was prevented from doing so.

"Do these methods of restricting personal freedom reflect the values we uphold? Do they fulfill the democratic principles that Lin Yi-hsiung is risking his life to advocate for?" Hsiao said.

DPP Boycotts Meeting

DPP lawmakers yesterday afternoon seized the rostrum and the podium of the Assembly Hall, demanding that Premier Jiang Yi-huah (江宜樺) give a report on the Fourth Nuclear Power Plant on Friday. The DPP's demand was rejected by the KMT caucus.

The ruling party and opposition caucuses failed to reach a consensus on the matter and, as a result, the scheduled plenary session was not convened.

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