Picture downloaded from Vice President Chen Chien-jen's (陳建仁) Facebook page
Taipei, April 17 (CNA) Activists angered by the government's pension reform drive have decided to launch a "besiege the Legislative Yuan" protest on Tuesday, one day before lawmakers begin to review pension reform bills.
The protest by civil groups composed of public servants, teachers and military personnel was organized by the Pension Reform Oversight Alliance (PROA), which said Monday that it will first deliver a petition to the Control Yuan on Tuesday afternoon before marching to the Legislature.
Once there, its members will surround the Legislative Yuan compound, and protesters will sleep over on the compound's grounds to continue the protest as the Judiciary and Organic Committee begins its review of the pension reform bills, the organization said.
National Federation of Education Union President Huang Yao (黃耀) said he expects at least 1,000 people to join the protest Tuesday. When the legislative review is held, it will be broadcast live at the protest site, he added.
In a statement released by the PROA on Monday, the group blasted the government as the culprit in pushing pension funds to the brink of bankruptcy and for trying to have people shoulder the responsibility for its bad execution of policies.
Accusing the government of breaking its promises, the PROA called on people to join the protest. "People should fight for their rights and interests on their own," it said.
In response to the planned protest, Vice President Chen Chien-jen (陳建仁) and Legislative Speaker Su Jia-chyuan (蘇嘉全) both urged people to express their appeals in a rational and peaceful manner.
Chen, who heads the Pension Reform Committee under the Presidential Office, asked people opposing the government's pension reform proposals to present complete data and figures, as well as well-planned reform programs for lawmakers to put them on discussions at the Legislative Yuan.
(By Wu Hsin-yun, Wen Kuei-hsiang, Sophia Yeh and Elizabeth Hsu)