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Protesters break police line, storm Legislature

2014/03/18 22:49:46

Taipei, March 18 (CNA) Over 100 protesters stormed into the Legislative Yuan Tuesday during an evening rally outside the building to protest over a service trade agreement with China.

Members of civic organizations opposed to the trade pact they describe as an "under-the-table" deal broke a glass door while scuffling with police guarding the facility before storming into the Legislature and occupying the podium.

Chen Wei-ting, a student leader, said they would continue to occupy the podium until March 21, when a floor meeting will be held.

They were demanding a proper review of the trade pact, and that the ruling Kuomintang apologize for its unilateral move a day earlier to deliver the trade accord to the legislative floor without giving it an item-by-item review the party had previously promised, Chen said.

Right after seizing the podium, the protesters blocked all the entrances to the meeting chamber with chairs. They also raised banners reading "occupy 63 hours," "refuse to allow the trade pact to clear the legislative floor," and "75 percent of Taiwanese people demand item-by-item review."

(By Tseng Ying-yu and Elizabeth Hsu)

Later developments in 2014: (Click here for a simplified timeline of major events between March 17 and April 7.)

July 31:
Student protest leader says he has 'no expectations' of DPP

June 4:
Sunflower Movement leaders unite to support Tiananmen vigil

May 18:
Student protesters form new group to tackle referendum rules

April 21:
Key figures in student protests questioned by prosecutors

April 20:
Ma willing to change P.R. approach and leadership style
Ma extends goodwill to Sunflower Movement member

April 18:
Legislature respects civic group's wish to pay for damages
Premier defends clearing Executive Yuan of protesters
Repairs of protest damages to legislature paid for by businessman

April 17:
China pact protest may create doubt for trading partners: ex-AIT head

April 15:
Protest does not constitute 'civil disobedience': justice minister
Legislature schedules question time with premier
China trade pact dispute may have long-term consequences: experts

April 14:
NTU president respects expression of views by faculty, students
Hearing on cross-strait pact oversight bills a non-starter (Update)

April 12:
Chinese groups cancel visits to Taiwan over student protests
Legislature set for two weeks of repairs: official
Taipei mayor issues warning after crowd besieged precinct

April 11:
Hau tells precinct chief to stay on job through investigation
Protesters moving to legislative square after demands met
Taipei mayor refuses police chief's offer to resign (update)
Protesters demonstrate outside police precinct in Taipei

[Protesters gather outside the Zhongzheng First Police Precinct Friday evening. CNA photo April 11, 2014]

Time to reflect on Taiwan's democracy: New Taipei mayor
Student movement sparks debate on DPP's China policy
Beijing sees Taiwan protests in rational light: MAC chief
Legislature meets briefly after 3-week suspension

[Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng enters the main chamber for a morning session Friday. CNA photo April 11, 2014]
Police disperse holdouts as legislature gets back to business
Police not to forcibly disperse remaining protesters

April 10:
Video report: Sunflowers end Legislature occupation

Festive rally closes Legislature occupation as protesters head home
Student-led protesters end occupation of Legislature (update)

[The farewell rally outside the Legislative Yuan Thursday evening. CNA photo April 10, 2014]

Taiwan should deal with student protests wisely: Singapore PM
DPP's Hsieh backs police eviction of protesters from Cabinet complex

[Protesters become emotional when leaving the Legislative Yuan chamber they occupied for over 20 days Thursday afternoon. CNA photo April 10, 2014]

April 9:
Student protesters to stage one last rally before ending occupation (update)
Counter-protesters begin relay fast to oppose Legislature occupation
Student-backed bill revives independence debate: legislator
Other countries balk at talks with Taiwan after protests: minister

[The sit-in outside the Legislative Yuan Wednesday night. CNA photo April 9, 2014]

April 8:
Some student activists might continue protests outside Legislature
Counter-protesters want their voices heard
Legislature evaluates damage as protesters prepare to leave
Legislature to resume floor session April 11

[Protesters take photos in the Legislature Yuan chamber early Tuesday. CNA photo April 8, 2014]

April 7:
No action to be taken against protesters: education minister
Local leaders react positively to student protesters' decision
Opposition parties laud students' decision to leave parliament
Ma pushes services pact after students announce pullout
Student protesters tout achievement of having appeals met
Student protesters announce withdrawal from Legislature

[Outside the Legislature Yuan chamber Monday evening. CNA photo April 7, 2014]

Chinese dissident backs service trade pact protest movement
Labor unions urge students to end occupation of Legislature
MAC chief challenges oversight bill supported by activists
Economics minister urges passing of service trade pact soon
No double standard on students' behavior: justice minister
University presidents call for leniency for student protesters

[Some time after 4 a.m. Monday, the occupation of the Legislative Yuan's chamber enters the 500th hour. CNA photo April 7, 2014 / Note: it should be the 500th hour since KMY lawmaker Chang Ching-chung announced the passage of the service trade pact in a joint committee review March 17, instead of the start of the occupation March 18.]

April 6:
Student leaders yet to decide next step
Supporters urge students to end occupation of Legislature
Cabinet wants simultaneous handling of monitoring bill, services pact
U.S.-based academic questions Taiwan's prosperity without China pact
Business leader concerned monitoring law will delay services pact
DPP lauds speaker for satisfying student demand on oversight law
Ruling party lawmaker blames speaker for selling out Kuomintang

[Anti-service trade pact rally in New Taipei's Zhonghe and Yonghe districts Sunday. CNA photo April 6, 2014]

Police to question 41 more over March 23 storming of Cabinet HQ
Ma calls for early passage of services pact despite Wang's pledge
KMT caucus taken aback by speaker's promise of monitoring law
Economics minister to promote trade pact with China at universities
Protesters to decide whether to end occupation of legislature
Legislative speaker promises to enact cross-strait monitoring law first (update)

[Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng (center) makes the statement in front of the Legislative Yuan's main chamber Sunday. CNA photo April 6, 2014]

April 5:
Local labor groups voice concerns over free trade impact
Taiwan must give to receive in trade liberalization: industry head
Terry Gou cancels Legislature visit but hopes to talk with students
Protesters hold 'people's assembly' to discuss monitoring draft bill

[Participants of the sit-in outside the Legislative Yuan conduct their own review of bills governing signing of accords with China Saturday. CNA photo April 5, 2014]
2,800 bills stalled as Legislature occupation heads toward 3rd week

April 4:
Civic groups launch petition, parade to urge students to 'go home'
Executive Yuan, police deny dispersion rumors
No U.S. pressure on DPP over student-led protest: party official
Public disappointed at both parties over trade pact dispute: poll
Protesters propose 'civic parliament'
Speaker would not object to eviction of protesters: newspaper
U.S. calls on Taiwan protesters to act 'responsibly'

[Participants of the sit-in outside the Legislative Yuan early Friday. CNA photo April 4, 2014]

April 3:
President open to debate over trade pact: premier
DPP blasts administration proposal for national conference
Premier sets June for national economic conference
46% of Taiwanese identify with student protesters: government poll
Economics minister worried stalled pact may hamper other deal
Student protest impacts equity market performance: FSC head
DPP urged to come clean on China pact as review is stalled
Cabinet approves draft law on oversight of cross-strait pacts (update)

[The podium in the Legislative Yuan's main chamber is decorated as an alter Thursday. CNA photo April 3, 2014]

April 2:
Control Yuan may question premier, police chief on protester removal
Premier warns of 'unprecedented' challenge if pact not enacted
President firm on no withdrawal of China services pact
Student leader: dialogue with president needs trade pact revision
Protests show people's lack of trust in Beijing: culture minister
KMT lawmaker says DPP has 'no more control' of student protesters
Committee session cut short by DPP obstruction
Cabinet vows to act against illegal activities
DPP lawmakers obstruct legislature conference
Pact row could harm Greater China economic integration: ANZ
Police increase presence at Legislature amid new student action

[Inside the Legislative Yuan's main chamber early Wednesday. CNA photo April 2, 2014]

April 1:
Confrontation erupts outside Legislature over China pact (update)
Draft bill to monitor cross-strait pact to be discussed Thursday
KMT caucus to discuss law governing cross-strait agreements Wednesday
DPP rejects KMT's call to end trade pact obstruction
Confrontation erupts outside Legislature amid fears of violence
Think tank reiterates China pact's importance to Taiwan's economy

[Lin Fei-fan (in black), a leading figure in the ongoing occupation of the Legislative Yuan's main chamber since March 18, is interviewed by Al Jazeera English for its program "The Stream" early Tuesday. CNA photo April 1, 2014]

March 31:
Government will not tolerate violence against violence: spokesman
Legislative speaker calls for wisdom to help end stalemate
KMT lawmaker apologizes, says DPP should do the same
Latest meeting on services pact in Legislature fails again
U.S. stance on protests against pact with China unchanged: AIT
Labor, business groups voice support for trade pact with China
DPP calls U.S. scholar's views of student movement slander
Activist profiles: the leaders of the Sunflower Student Movement

[Taiwanese studying in Germany gather at Berlin's Alexanderplatz Sunday to show their support for ongoing protest in Taiwan against a trade-in-services agreement with China. CNA photo March 31, 2014]

Undeterred by rally, president urges protesters to end occupation
Officials talk to students about services pact with China
Woman files complaint against student leaders over occupation
Protests against trade pact may slow domestic recovery: Morgan Stanley
Lawmakers' efforts to get back to business off to bad start
Legislative speaker equivocal on how to break impasse

[Around 300 Taiwanese living in the United Kingdom gather at London's Trafalgar Square Sunday to show their support for ongoing protest in Taiwan against a trade-in-services agreement with China. CNA photo March 31, 2014]

Overseas protests echoing the March 30 mass protest in Taipei

March 30:
Video report: Mass protests held in Taipei

Failure to pass trade pact could affect young people's future: Ma
Protesters in front of Presidential Office leave peacefully
Services pact will not necessarily benefit Chinese investors
Student leader vows continued occupation of Legislature (update)
Police guard student representatives of protesters
Over 110,000 take to streets to widen protest over China pact (update-2)

DDP leaders show up at protest rally
Anti-service trade pact protest draws 500 in Hong Kong
Hundreds rally to demand pact protesters go back to school
Tens of thousands take to streets to widen protest over China pact (update)
Government to hold trade pact presentations at universities
Police dispatched, traffic control in place in preparation for protest

[Sun flowers, a symbol of the ongoing student movement against a trade pact with China, are placed on Ketagalan Boulevard in front of the Presidential Office Sunday morning. CNA photo March 29, 2014]

March 29:
Demonstration will continue as planned: student leader
President's response to protesters draws mixed reactions
Business association leaders call on students to end occupation (update)

President Ma's remarks made during Saturday's news conference:
Trade pact has built-in safety measures: president
Trade pact backed by many sectors: president
President backs legalizing scrutiny of cross-strait agreements (update)
President calls news conference to address protesters' demands

Two rallies held by groups opposing protesters' occupation of the Legislature:
●White shirts: Students' action does not represent all Taiwanese: groups (update)
●Carnations: Hundreds gather to urge student protesters to go home (update)

[Participant of the "Carnation embraces Sun Flower" gather in front of Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall in Taipei Saturday. CNA photo March 29, 2014]

Talk of the Day -- Maneuvers before showdown
University head acting as mediator between government, protesters
Service trade pact with China can boost financial sector: expert
Standoff continues as Legislative speaker cancels talks
DPP heavyweights to attend protest rally
President's press conference over student protest rescheduled

[A protester taking part in a sit-in outside the Legislative Yuan shows an ad paid by groups against a service trade agreement between Taiwan and China in the International New York Times Saturday. CNA photo March 29, 2014]

March 28:
Student leader says mass protest may be canceled if Ma shows goodwill
President Ma still holds out hopes for dialogue with students
Taiwan stands to lose if trade pact not approved: central bank head
ECCT warns of potentially adverse effects of trade pact protests
Saturday counter-protests to urge students to 'go home'
KMT lawmakers to return to Legislature next week
Outspoken Facebook users voice support for police
Latest meeting to end legislative stalemate on pact fails again

[A painting of sun flower sits outside the Legislative Yuan Friday. The student protesters occupying the main legislative chamber since March 18 have chosen the sunflower as the symbol of their movement against the handling of the trade-in-services pact with China. CNA photo March 28, 2014]

Time for protests to yield to democratic process: New Taipei mayor
Talk of the Day -- Police scrutinized for eviction enforcement
Premier urges 'peace and rationality' ahead of Sunday protest
Jiang rejects two demands by student-led protesters
Premier open to legalizing scrutiny of cross-strait agreements

Video report: Taiwan divided over trade pact

March 27:
Lawmakers should foot the bill for Legislature damage: protest leader
Occupation movement plans rally in front of Presidential Office
Talk of the Day -- China defends trade-in-services pact with Taiwan
Video report: China reacts to trade pact dispute

Premier insists on constitutional democracy
Premier instructs officials to reach out to universities
KMT shoots down protesters' condition for ending occupation
Cross-party consultations on China trade pact yield no progress
KMT agrees to return service trade pact to committees

[Outside the Legislative Yuan's chamber, Thursday morning. CNA photo March 27, 2014]

March 26:
Cabinet to review police dispersal of protesters
Dialogue with students can be aired in public: president
Academia Sinica head urges Ma to communicate more over pact
China pact deadlock can be best resolved in Legislature: president (in an interview with The Economist)

No wiretapping of student protesters: security official
Talk of the Day -- Legislators most to blame for parliamentary paralysis

[A man wearing a headband supporting Taiwan's trade-in-services pact with China sits among a group of people protesting the pact outside the Legislative Yuan. Opponents of the agreement have occupied the Legislature's floor since March 18, drowning out voices supporting the pact. CNA photo March 26, 2014]

President denies 'no transparency' accusation over China pact
President, protesters repeat calls for talks with 'no preconditions'
Legislature talks over pact to wait until president meets protesters

[National University of Kaohsiung faculty and students hold a candlelight vigil on campus in the southern city Tuesday night, in support of student protesters in Taipei. CNA photo March 26, 2014]

March 25:
Legislative speaker seeking end to standoff over trade pact
Business groups call for tolerance to end standoff over trade pact
Motorcycle gang members turned over to prosecutors
Cross-party talk on services trade pact standoff fails again

[A local cable news channel's satellite vehicle that is parked outside the Legislative Yuan Monday is covered by protesting notes for allegedly "biased" coverage. CNA photo March 25, 2014]

Student leader of protest at Cabinet building released
Taiwan has no plan on ads campaigning for services pact with China
President willing to talk with student protesters (update)

[Protesters sleeping on Taipei's Qingdao East Road wake up to the eighth day of a sit-in outside the Legislative Yuan Monday. CNA photo March 25, 2014]

Ex-DPP chairwoman plays down connection with student protesters
Economics minister defends cross-strait pact
Police show relative moderation when dispersing crowd: scholar
U.S. hopes for peaceful, civil debate over China trade pact

[A flare thrown by bikers passing by the sit-in on Qingdao East Road outside the Legislature causes disturbance Monday night. CNA photo March 25, 2014]

March 24:
For the premier's remarks made during today's news conference, please go to: Premier open to talks, expresses 'sadness' over occupation

For developments regarding the legislative review of the service trade pact: Legislative speaker vows to resolve deadlock over cross-strait pact

For the ongoing dispute's impact on tourism and other business: Political turmoil could hurt Taiwan tourism: industry leaders

174 injured in Sunday operation, including 119 police
Taipei, New Taipei mayors pledge zero tolerance to violence
Prosecutors seek to detain student organizer of Cabinet break-in
Over 40 student groups back 'strike' to oppose China pact
61 arrested during attempted occupation of Executive Yuan
No more backup police to Taipei: Kaohsiung, Tainan
Former premier affected during crackdown at Executive Yuan
Protesters to seek charges against premier for police crackdown
137 sent to hospitals during week-long protest: bureau

[All cleared around the Executive Yuan, on Zhongxiao East Road and Zhongshan South Road in Taipei. CNA photo March 24, 2014]

[The clean-up at the Executive Yuan in Taipei. CNA photo March 24, 2014]

President holds top meeting on China pact row
Executive Yuan protesters dispersed with water cannons

[On Zhongxiao East Road and Zhongshan South Road in Taipei. CNA photo March 24, 2014]

Students' association calls for 'strike' to support protests
Ill-prepared police jumped by protesters twice
Dozens hospitalized as police remove protesters from Executive Yuan

[Removal of protesters around the Executive Yuan. CNA photo March 24, 2014]

Police begin to disperse protesters at Executive Yuan

(CNA photo March 24, 2014)

Executive Yuan main building cleared of protesters
Official denies breach of premier's office

March 23:
DPP calls for calm, safety of students as police action looms
President backs premier order to evict intruders from Executive Yuan
Premier orders police to evict protesters from Executive Yuan (update)

[A sit-in in front of the Executive Yuan Sunday night. CNA photo March 23, 2014]

Premier orders police to evict protesters from Executive Yuan
Police moving to arrest protesters damaging government properties
9 injured, sent to hospitals as protesters break into Executive Yuan
Protesters enter Executive Yuan, extending occupation movement frontline

[Demonstrators climb through windows of the Executive Yuan Sunday evening. CNA photo March 23, 2014]

Trade pact with China still under committee screening: speaker
Presidential Office declines to comment on protesters' new demand
Talk of the day -- Is protest rally the most pragmatic sociology class?
Protesters raise new demands in standoff over trade pact
President addresses protesters' demand for law on cross-strait pacts
Business sector to discuss pros and cons of trade pact with China (update)
Protesters lay out demands, vow to continue occupation of Legislature

(Lin Fei-fan, one of initiators of the occupation movement, demands democracy and accuses President Ma Ying-jeou of ignoring public opinions, in the opening statement at a news conference in the main chamber of the Legislature Sunday; in Chinese)

No Beijing pressure on services pact: President Ma
President urges protesters to end occupation of Legislature
Protesters say president 'insincere' in responses to their calls
President Ma defends services pact with China (update-1)

(President Ma Ying-jeou calls for earlier legislative review of the service trade pact with China and urges protesters to end occupation of the Legislative Yuan chamber during news conference Sunday, in Chinese)

[Demonstrators occupying the Legislature chamber watch President Ma Ying-jeou's news conference Sunday. CNA photo March 23, 2014]

March 22:
President Ma to hold news conference on pact with China
Resisting China without good reason hurts Taiwan: premier (update)
Protesters urged to examine service trade pact
Trade pact will smooth the way for closer ties with China: industry
Premier rejects protesters' demand for withdraw of pact with China (update)

(Premier Jiang Yi-huah speaks to protesters outside the Legislative Yuan Saturday afternoon, in Chinese)

Premier arrives at Legislative Yuan for talks with students
Civic groups expect to hold talks with premier
Legislative speaker to seek consensus on service trade pact
DPP, Su apologize for campaign remark at student-led protests
DPP schedules review of China trade pact; KMT vows boycott
While favoring dialogue, Ma won't be forced into talks: official
President cancels visit amid protest concerns
Executive Yuan 'will not use force against students': spokesman

[Demonstrators install a tube for better ventilation in the Legislature chamber Saturday. CNA photo March 22, 2014]

March 21:
KMT urges legislative speaker to coordinate over trade pact
Business groups urge protesting students to calm down
KMT lawmakers support item-by-item review of trade pact

[Around the Legislative Yuan, on Qingdao East Road, near Zhenjiang Street, in Taipei. CNA photo March 21, 2014]

KMT open to calls for article-by-article review of trade pact
Major parties talk tough as speaker seeks to end protest standoff
Deputy econ minister calls for protesters to have faith in Taiwan
DPP mobilizes to support student protesters at Legislature
Government needs to ease fear of China: ex-security adviser
Security around Presidential Office, Executive Yuan reinforced
Local bourse ends lower on concerns over China trade pact
Speaker skips out on meeting, pressures president for action
U.S. monitoring progress of trade-in-services agreement: King
Legislative session may be extended to July due to protest
Top meeting on Legislative standoff postponed

[Outside the Ministry of Education, which is next to the Legislative Yuan. The Central Weather Bureau forecast temperatures in Taipei Friday to be between 12 and 14 degrees Celsius. CNA photo March 21, 2014]

March 20:

[Hundreds of demonstrators against a service trade agreement between Taiwan and China gather at Kaohsiung's Central Park Thursday evening. CNA photo March 20, 2014]

Violence not tolerated in any democratic society: King
President to meet with legislative speaker on ending occupation (update)
Business groups voice concern on economic impact of protest
Premier resolute on service trade pact despite protest
Talk of the day -- Legislature under control of protesters
Local bourse dives amid uncertainty over trade pact with China
President voices respect for legislative autonomy, calls for reason
Legislative committees call recess amid protest
Legislature occupation enters third day, remains mostly peaceful
Protesters continue to occupy legislative chamber in Taiwan

[Wang Dan (center left) and Wuer Kaixi (center right), both student leaders during the 1989 Beijing Tiananmen protest, visit protesters occupying the Legislative chamber in early hours Thursday. CNA photo March 20, 2014]

March 19:
38 policemen injured, 4 protesters arrested in clashes
President calls for endorsement of trade pact before June (update)
Local bourse hit by dispute over trade pact with China
Opposition party mobilizes members, mulling 'long-term' protest
Cabinet to respect how Legislature deals with protest
Speaker calls for self-restraint in Legislative standoff
Meetings canceled as protesters occupy Legislature
Student protesters repel police, hold Legislative chamber
Police step back from effort to evict students inside Legislature
Police begin evicting protesters occupying legislature
DPP politicians try to protect students inside Legislature
Four injured during student storming of Legislature
Students dig in for prolonged occupation of Legislature

Protesters outside one of the Legislative Yuan's entrances call for removal of the police force on site, and later for air condition inside, Wednesday:

Clips of protesters pushing into the Legislature Tuesday:

On the Legislature floor:

Foreign media reports on the situation:
●Associated Press: China trade pact foes occupy Taiwan legislature
●Reuters: Taiwan students occupy legislature over China trade deal
●BBC: Protesters occupy Taiwan parliament over China trade deal
●Le Figaro: Taiwan: des étudiants occupent le parlement (in French)
●Frankfurter Allgemeine: Studenten besetzen Taiwans Parlament (in German)
●Neue Zürcher Zeitung: Taiwans Parlament besetzt (in German)
●Notimex (Mexico): Manifestantes ocupan Parlamento en Taiwán por tercer día (in Spanish, via El Universal newspaper's website))

Earlier stories:
●March 18: Talk of the Day -- Service trade pact pushed forward amid chaos
●March 18: DPP plans rally to pressure KMT on trade pact with China
●March 18: Legislative floor meeting canceled amid cross-strait pact row
●March 18: Service trade pact status unclear in Legislature
●March 17: KMT lawmaker claims trade-in-service pact 'passed' despite no review