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Talk of the day -- Calls for rule of law

2014/04/12 20:34:26

The Facebook page that shows support to police and Zhongzheng First Precinct chief Fang Yang-ning.

Just a day after a student-led movement ended an unprecedented 24-day occupation of the Legislative Yuan, the nearby Zhongzheng First Precinct became a new target of protesters Friday night.

Angry over the police's handling of a crowd dispersal at the Legislature earlier that day, more than 1,000 protesters were mobilized through the Internet to besiege the precinct demanding the resignation of its chief, Fang Yang-ning.

The incident has sparked calls for tougher enforcement of the law in Taiwanese society, led by a Facebook page set up in support of Fang and police that has collected over 170,000 likes so far.

The following are excerpts of reports from the United Daily News on the issue:

The page was set up at around 9 p.m. Friday with the message: "Let's return to the judicial system and let the judicial system make a judgment. Police have worked hard for a long time and they are innocent."

The first comment posted on the page read: "Fang Yang-ning, if you step down because of the threat, you will be the true loser! The Taiwanese people will also be the losers!"

Lucifer Chu, a writer and commentator known for his support for the recent Sunflower Movement, questioned the justification for the siege at the police precinct, in which protesters accused police of violating the Constitution.

"This is no student movement. No way I'll support it," Chu said on his own Facebook page. "Why don't you take your protest against constitutional violations to the Constitutional Court rather than besieging the police precinct?"

Meanwhile, a campaign was launched on Facebook asking people to forward an article titled "I Miss a Country Ruled by Law."

"Taiwan is experiencing change! Thank you (Fang) and all police officers for enduring violence and threats for the silent majority!"

Yang Tai-shun, a professor of political science at Taiwan's Chinese Culture University, said the recent string of protests indicate that the Internet is becoming an important means of mobilization, and he predicted that other similar incidents would occur in the future.

He suggested that police set up an Internet information center to track possible mobilization efforts on the Internet and take precautions in advance. (April 12, 2014)

(By Y.F. Low)

Related stories:
●April 12: Taipei mayor defends police, warns protesters of 'zero tolerance'
●April 11: Protesters demonstrate outside police precinct in Taipei
●March 23: Protesters enter Executive Yuan, extending occupation movement frontline

(Click here for a timeline of major developments since the Legislature occupation started March 18.)