Protesters break police line, storm Legislature - Focus Taiwan

Protesters break police line, storm Legislature

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) ENDITEM/J

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 styleMa extends goodwill to Sunflower Movement member

April 18:●Legislature respects civic group's wish to pay for damagesPremier defends clearing Executive Yuan of protestersRepairs 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 ministerLegislature schedules question time with premierChina trade pact dispute may have long-term consequences: experts

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

April 12:●Chinese groups cancel visits to Taiwan over student protestsLegislature set for two weeks of repairs: officialTaipei mayor issues warning after crowd besieged precinct

April 11:●Hau tells precinct chief to stay on job through investigationProtesters moving to legislative square after demands metTaipei 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 mayorStudent movement sparks debate on DPP's China policyBeijing sees Taiwan protests in rational light: MAC chiefLegislature 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 businessPolice not to forcibly disperse remaining protesters

April 10:Video report: Sunflowers end Legislature occupation

Festive rally closes Legislature occupation as protesters head homeStudent-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 PMDPP'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 occupationStudent-backed bill revives independence debate: legislatorOther 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 LegislatureCounter-protesters want their voices heardLegislature evaluates damage as protesters prepare to leaveLegislature 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 ministerLocal leaders react positively to student protesters' decisionOpposition parties laud students' decision to leave parliamentMa pushes services pact after students announce pulloutStudent protesters tout achievement of having appeals metStudent protesters announce withdrawal from Legislature

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

Chinese dissident backs service trade pact protest movementLabor unions urge students to end occupation of LegislatureMAC chief challenges oversight bill supported by activistsEconomics minister urges passing of service trade pact soonNo double standard on students' behavior: justice ministerUniversity 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 stepSupporters urge students to end occupation of LegislatureCabinet wants simultaneous handling of monitoring bill, services pactU.S.-based academic questions Taiwan's prosperity without China pactBusiness leader concerned monitoring law will delay services pactDPP lauds speaker for satisfying student demand on oversight lawRuling 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 HQMa calls for early passage of services pact despite Wang's pledgeKMT caucus taken aback by speaker's promise of monitoring lawEconomics minister to promote trade pact with China at universitiesProtesters to decide whether to end occupation of legislatureLegislative 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 impactTaiwan must give to receive in trade liberalization: industry headTerry Gou cancels Legislature visit but hopes to talk with studentsProtesters 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 rumorsNo U.S. pressure on DPP over student-led protest: party officialPublic disappointed at both parties over trade pact dispute: pollProtesters propose 'civic parliament'Speaker would not object to eviction of protesters: newspaperU.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: premierDPP blasts administration proposal for national conferencePremier sets June for national economic conference46% of Taiwanese identify with student protesters: government pollEconomics minister worried stalled pact may hamper other dealStudent protest impacts equity market performance: FSC headDPP urged to come clean on China pact as review is stalledCabinet 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 removalPremier warns of 'unprecedented' challenge if pact not enactedPresident firm on no withdrawal of China services pactStudent leader: dialogue with president needs trade pact revisionProtests show people's lack of trust in Beijing: culture ministerKMT lawmaker says DPP has 'no more control' of student protestersCommittee session cut short by DPP obstructionCabinet vows to act against illegal activitiesDPP lawmakers obstruct legislature conferencePact row could harm Greater China economic integration: ANZPolice 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 ThursdayKMT caucus to discuss law governing cross-strait agreements WednesdayDPP rejects KMT's call to end trade pact obstructionConfrontation erupts outside Legislature amid fears of violenceThink 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: spokesmanLegislative speaker calls for wisdom to help end stalemateKMT lawmaker apologizes, says DPP should do the sameLatest meeting on services pact in Legislature fails againU.S. stance on protests against pact with China unchanged: AITLabor, business groups voice support for trade pact with ChinaDPP calls U.S. scholar's views of student movement slanderActivist 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 occupationOfficials talk to students about services pact with ChinaWoman files complaint against student leaders over occupationProtests against trade pact may slow domestic recovery: Morgan StanleyLawmakers' efforts to get back to business off to bad startLegislative 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: MaProtesters in front of Presidential Office leave peacefullyServices pact will not necessarily benefit Chinese investorsStudent leader vows continued occupation of Legislature (update)Police guard student representatives of protestersOver 110,000 take to streets to widen protest over China pact (update-2)

DDP leaders show up at protest rallyAnti-service trade pact protest draws 500 in Hong KongHundreds rally to demand pact protesters go back to schoolTens of thousands take to streets to widen protest over China pact (update)Government to hold trade pact presentations at universitiesPolice 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 leaderPresident's response to protesters draws mixed reactionsBusiness 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: presidentTrade pact backed by many sectors: presidentPresident 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 showdownUniversity head acting as mediator between government, protestersService trade pact with China can boost financial sector: expertStandoff continues as Legislative speaker cancels talksDPP heavyweights to attend protest rallyPresident'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 goodwillPresident Ma still holds out hopes for dialogue with studentsTaiwan stands to lose if trade pact not approved: central bank headECCT warns of potentially adverse effects of trade pact protestsSaturday counter-protests to urge students to 'go home'KMT lawmakers to return to Legislature next weekOutspoken Facebook users voice support for policeLatest 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 mayorTalk of the Day -- Police scrutinized for eviction enforcementPremier urges 'peace and rationality' ahead of Sunday protestJiang rejects two demands by student-led protestersPremier 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 leaderOccupation movement plans rally in front of Presidential OfficeTalk of the Day -- China defends trade-in-services pact with TaiwanVideo report: China reacts to trade pact dispute

Premier insists on constitutional democracyPremier instructs officials to reach out to universitiesKMT shoots down protesters' condition for ending occupationCross-party consultations on China trade pact yield no progressKMT 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 protestersDialogue with students can be aired in public: presidentAcademia Sinica head urges Ma to communicate more over pactChina pact deadlock can be best resolved in Legislature: president (in an interview with The Economist)

No wiretapping of student protesters: security officialTalk 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 pactPresident, 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 pactBusiness groups call for tolerance to end standoff over trade pactMotorcycle gang members turned over to prosecutorsCross-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 releasedTaiwan has no plan on ads campaigning for services pact with ChinaPresident 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 protestersEconomics minister defends cross-strait pactPolice show relative moderation when dispersing crowd: scholarU.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 policeTaipei, New Taipei mayors pledge zero tolerance to violenceProsecutors seek to detain student organizer of Cabinet break-inOver 40 student groups back 'strike' to oppose China pact61 arrested during attempted occupation of Executive YuanNo more backup police to Taipei: Kaohsiung, TainanFormer premier affected during crackdown at Executive Yuan●Protesters to seek charges against premier for police crackdown137 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 rowExecutive 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 protestsIll-prepared police jumped by protesters twiceDozens 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 protestersOfficial denies breach of premier's office

March 23:●DPP calls for calm, safety of students as police action loomsPresident backs premier order to evict intruders from Executive YuanPremier 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 YuanPolice moving to arrest protesters damaging government properties9 injured, sent to hospitals as protesters break into Executive YuanProtesters 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: speakerPresidential Office declines to comment on protesters' new demandTalk of the day -- Is protest rally the most pragmatic sociology class?Protesters raise new demands in standoff over trade pactPresident addresses protesters' demand for law on cross-strait pactsBusiness 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 MaPresident urges protesters to end occupation of LegislatureProtesters say president 'insincere' in responses to their callsPresident 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 ChinaResisting China without good reason hurts Taiwan: premier (update)Protesters urged to examine service trade pactTrade pact will smooth the way for closer ties with China: industryPremier 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 studentsCivic groups expect to hold talks with premierLegislative speaker to seek consensus on service trade pactDPP, Su apologize for campaign remark at student-led protestsDPP schedules review of China trade pact; KMT vows boycottWhile favoring dialogue, Ma won't be forced into talks: officialPresident cancels visit amid protest concernsExecutive 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 pactBusiness groups urge protesting students to calm downKMT 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 pactMajor parties talk tough as speaker seeks to end protest standoffDeputy econ minister calls for protesters to have faith in TaiwanDPP mobilizes to support student protesters at LegislatureGovernment needs to ease fear of China: ex-security adviserSecurity around Presidential Office, Executive Yuan reinforcedLocal bourse ends lower on concerns over China trade pactSpeaker skips out on meeting, pressures president for actionU.S. monitoring progress of trade-in-services agreement: KingLegislative session may be extended to July due to protestTop 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: KingPresident to meet with legislative speaker on ending occupation (update)Business groups voice concern on economic impact of protestPremier resolute on service trade pact despite protestTalk of the day -- Legislature under control of protestersLocal bourse dives amid uncertainty over trade pact with ChinaPresident voices respect for legislative autonomy, calls for reasonLegislative committees call recess amid protestLegislature occupation enters third day, remains mostly peacefulProtesters 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 clashesPresident calls for endorsement of trade pact before June (update)Local bourse hit by dispute over trade pact with ChinaOpposition party mobilizes members, mulling 'long-term' protestCabinet to respect how Legislature deals with protestSpeaker calls for self-restraint in Legislative standoffMeetings canceled as protesters occupy LegislatureStudent protesters repel police, hold Legislative chamberPolice step back from effort to evict students inside LegislaturePolice begin evicting protesters occupying legislatureDPP politicians try to protect students inside LegislatureFour injured during student storming of LegislatureStudents 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

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