Students storm Legislature over FEPZs
By Lauly Li ,The China Post
June 27, 2014, 12:00 am TWN
TAIPEI, Taiwan -- Over 30 student activists protesting against a draft bill on Free Economic Pilot Zones (FEPZs) rushed into the Legislative Yuan yesterday morning in an attempt to prevent lawmakers from deliberating the bill.
The Legislature's Economics Committee was yesterday scheduled to deliberate the FEPZs draft bill article by article between 9 a.m. and 12 p.m. Student activists and protesters from several civic groups, including the Restoration of Taiwan Social Justice (臺左維新), the Alliance of Referendum for Taiwan (公投護台灣聯盟) and the Democracy Tautin (民主鬥陣), climbed over the wall into the Legislature compound at around 8 a.m.
The student activists criticized the Kuomintang (KMT) caucus saying that the party is trying to pass the FEPZs bill while the nation's focus is on the visit of China's Taiwan Affairs Office Minister Zhang Zhijun (張志軍).
Student activist Hsu Li (許立), who is one of the students that stormed the Executive Yuan on the night of March 23, yesterday said that if the FEPZs bill is passed in the Legislature, "people will definitely take more aggressive action against it."
Clashes and physical altercations ignited between the protesters and police. Nearly 100 police officers evicted the activists around 9:30 a.m.
The protesters refused to leave the area; instead, they stayed in front of the main entrance of the Legislative Yuan.
The Restoration of Taiwan Social Justice claimed that they would stage a sit-in demonstration at the site until the Legislative Yuan's interim sessions ended.
Protesters Shout Profanities at Lawmaker
After learning that the Economics Committee called a recess at around noon and did not pass the FEPZs bill, protesters cheered and announced that their mission had been accomplished.
Several students shouted out the name of KMT lawmaker Huang Chao-shun (黃昭順), who is one of the conveners of the Economic Committee, and added insults after her name.
Huang later responded to the incident, saying that "they've really gone too far." Huang said it was a cross-caucus' agreement to add the FEPZs bill deliberation into yesterday's committee meeting agenda.
Huang said that if the students have objections to the draft bill, they can express their opinions through other approaches and should not have chosen this method.
Protesters will Return: Activist
The Restoration of Taiwan Social Justice member Lin Yu-lun (林于倫) said the fact that Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) lawmakers boycotted the deliberation of the FEPZs bill during the Economics Committee meeting means that the demonstration served its purpose this time.
Lin further stressed that if the KMT insists on paving the way for the bill by adding it into the meeting agenda again, then the protesters will return to the Legislative Yuan.
The Democracy Tautin released a press statement yesterday afternoon, saying that the draft bill should not be deliberated during the interim sessions. The civic group argued that some of the lawmakers just wanted to present a nice show for China while Zhang is still in Taiwan by deliberating the bill.