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Protesters demonstrate outside police precinct in Taipei

2014/04/11 21:19:22

Taipei, April 11 (CNA) More than 500 netizens unhappy with the dispersion of protesters from outside the Legislative Yuan earlier in the day attempted to besiege a police precinct in Taipei Friday night, sparking a tense face-off and sporadic clashes with police.

The protesters demanded that Zhongzheng First Police Precinct chief Fang Yang-ning 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 on the scene and explain his actions.

As the number of protesters swelled, hundreds of police officers were deployed to the front gate of the police precinct, and anti-riot police were also standing by at the site.


[The front gate of the Zhongzheng First Police Precinct, Friday evening. CNA photo April 11, 2014]

Fang later appeared outside the precinct and told the protesters that if he had done anything wrong, he would be willing to be transferred to another position or resign.

Fang also said he would offer an apology if he caused a public misunderstanding, and contended that nobody was injured during the dispersion process, but his words failed to quell the demonstration, and the stand-off continued.

Taipei Mayor Hau Lung-bin was standing behind the police chief, saying Friday night that he would not ask Fang to resign because he had done nothing wrong.

The latest flare-up occurred after student protesters vacated the Legislative Yuan's main chamber Thursday evening. They had occupied the venue for 24 days to protest a trade-in-services agreement with China.

Tsai Ting-kuei, chairman of the Alliance of Referendum for Taiwan, and others remained outside the Legislature overnight, and police moved to remove them from the scene.


[The removal of Tsai Ting-kuei by police Friday morning. CNA photo April 11, 2014]

Fang said at around 2:30 a.m. Friday that he would not use heavy-handed methods to clear the area, but would not rule out using less coercive ways to get people to leave.

Police then began physically picking up demonstrators and moving them away from the square at 7 a.m.

Tsai was reportedly injured during the process and was sent to the hospital, but Fang said Tsai's injury was his own fault rather than caused by the police.

The police chief defended the action as being necessary to allow the Legislature's operations to return to normal.

(By Lin Chung-sen, Liu Shih-yi and Evelyn Kao)
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Update:
●April 12: Hundreds of supporters shower precinct chief with flowers
●April 12: Taipei mayor defends police, warns protesters of 'zero tolerance'
●April 12: Taipei mayor issues warning after crowd besieged precinct

[Flowers from supporters of the police force at the entrance of the Zhongzheng First Precinct Saturday morning. CNA photo April 12, 2014]
●April 12: Protesters still in Legislature despite end of Sunflower Movement
●April 12: Hau tells precinct chief to stay on job through investigation (Friday night)
●April 11: Protesters moving to legislative square after demands met
●April 11: Taipei mayor refuses police chief's offer to resign (update)
●April 11: Face-to-face with protesters, precinct chief offers resignation

Related:
●April 11: Police disperse holdouts as legislature gets back to business

Locations of the Zhongzheng First Precinct building (left) and the Legislative Yuan (right):