Friday, April 11, 2014

Anger at police tactics sparks siege of station precinct

Anger at police tactics sparks siege of station precinct

By Chien Li-chung and Jake Chung  /  Staff reporter, with staff writer, and CNA

Protesters surround the building of the Zhongzheng First Police Precinct in Taipei last night after police officers removed members of the public from the front of the Legislative Yuan after the occupation of the legislative compound ended on Thursday evening.

Photo: CNA

Nearly 1,000 people unhappy with the forced dispersal of protesters from outside the Legislative Yuan in Taipei early yesterday following the ending of the Sunflower movement occupation attempted to besiege the Zhongzheng First Police Precinct last night, sparking a tense face-off and sporadic clashes with officers.
The stand-off was ongoing as of press time.
The protesters demanded that precinct chief Fang Yang-ning (方仰寧) apologize and step down for reneging on his pledge to not forcibly disperse protesters from the square outside the Legislative Yuan.
They also asked that Fang appear before them to explain his actions.
As the number of protesters swelled, hundreds of police officers were deployed to the front gate of the precinct building, and anti-riot police were on standby.
Some of the protesters scattered ghost money, normally seen as currency for the dead, around the precinct doors.
Fang appeared outside the precinct at about 7pm, with Taipei Mayor Hau Lung-bin (郝龍斌) standing behind him, and told the crowd that if he had done anything wrong, he would be willing to be transferred or resign.
He said he would apologize if he had caused a public misunderstanding, and he also said that no one had been injured during the eviction process.
His remarks did little to appease the protesters.
Hau said last night that he would not ask Fang to resign because the officer had done nothing wrong.
Members of the Alliance of Referendum for Taiwan and their supporters remained in the plaza outside the front of the Legislative Yuan overnight after student-led protesters from the Sunflower movement left the legislature’s main chamber early on Thursday evening.
Despite a promise from Fang about 2:30am yesterday that police officers would not use heavy-handed methods to clear the area, police began picking up demonstrators and moving them away from the square at 7am.

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