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Heavy police presence ahead of legislative review of pension bills

2017/04/18 21:54:05

Taipei, April 18 (CNA) About 2,000 police officers have been mobilized and barbed wire barricades erected around the Legislative Yuan compound on Tuesday to provide security ahead of an overnight sleepover protest against pension reforms outside the compound.

Members of the Pension Reform Oversight Alliance, the protest organizer, will rally outside peripheral areas of the Legislative Yuan complex in the afternoon to surround the complex, paralyzing traffic in the area before lawmakers are scheduled to start reviewing several pension reform draft bills on Wednesday, a spokesman for the alliance said.

Chiu Feng-kuang (邱豐光), director of Taipei City Police Department, said on Tuesday at a City Council session that since the evening demonstration is expected to attract more than 2,500 protesters, the city police department and the National Police Agency have mobilized about 2,000 police officers and security guards at the Presidential Office, Executive Yuan, Legislative Yuan, Ministry of the Interior and the presidential residence.

The Taipei police department's Zhongzheng First Precinct also said it is prepared for any form of protest and has taken measures to prevent protesters storming the Legislative Yuan.

In response, opposition Kuomintang Taipei City Councilor Chin Hui-chu(秦慧珠)asked why the city police department was deploying over 1,000 police officers to deal with 2,500 protesters? "They are treating the retired public servants, teachers and servicemen and women as bandits," she said.

Such a deployment was on a par with that for the Sunflower movement, an unprecedented occupation of the Legislative Yuan from March 18 to April 10, 2014, which protested a trade pact with China, she added.

Meanwhile, KMT Legislator Lin Li-chan (林麗嬋) expressed concern at the impact the police deployment will have on officers who are already overworked, given the fact there is a shortage of 6,000 officers across the nation.

KMT Legislator Tseng Ming-tsung (曾銘宗), a convener of the legislative Internal Administration Committee, said that he has amended the agenda for the committee meeting on Wednesday and invited Interior Minister Yeh Jiunn-rong (葉俊榮) and NPA Director-General Chen Kuo-en (陳國恩) to report on police and security operations in the vicinity of the Legislative Yuan from Tuesday to Thursday.

(By Liang Pei-chi, Wen Kuei-hsiang, Liu Kuang-ting, Yiu Kai-hsiang and
Evelyn Kao)
Enditem/AW/