Sunday, March 23, 2014

Protesters, rivals clash over actions

Protesters, rivals clash over actions

By Loa Iok-sin  /  Staff reporter

Clashes broke out yesterday afternoon between student activists occupying the legislative floor and another group of protesters who are convinced that more extreme actions are needed, as the latter tried to force their way into the legislative chamber.
“Go away, police officers, let us get in,” a group of protesters shouted as they tried to force their way into the chamber through a side gate guarded by both the police and peace-keeping volunteers from the protest organizers.
“Back down. Back down. Back down, please. Everybody please stay calm and sit down,” the volunteers responded, pushing them back, asking them to calm down and urging other participants to sit down and stay where they were.
“You say you’re here to protest, but it looks like a carnival outside,” said a man leading the group, who did not identify himself.
“Police officers are not bad people, but they are definitely our enemies, the government under President Ma Ying-jeou [馬英九] and the Legislative Yuan are like a castle, and the police is the wall,” the man said. “Should we not take down the wall if we want to take over the castle?”
However, student leaders Lin Fei-fan (林飛帆) and Chen Wei-ting (陳為廷) stopped them from going in and calmed the crowd.
“I am one of the core people who planned this action [to occupy the legislative floor] and I will take full responsibility for it. If you have any better idea, you can propose it and we can discuss it,” Chen said. “Of course, we all want to do something, but we should always carefully plan it, otherwise it is just a foolish action.”
Lin echoed Chen, saying that he and Chen are each involved in four lawsuits from past demonstrations, “and we both have not yet graduated from school.”
“I know how you feel now, especially after Jiang and Ma’s rejection of our demands, but we need to plan things out before acting,” he said. “If you want to do something on your own, if you want to take over the Presidential Office, I would admire you if you succeed, and I would join you.”

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