A friend who was at yesterday's protest has graciously consented to letting me post some of his pictures here. The complete set is on his Flickr account. Posters on Forumosa, the most important expat discussion group here, noted:
Actually, a very calm crowd. I remember several times during the Red Tide, we had great difficulty in going out for lunch -and at least once all the doors had to be locked, leaving yours truly outside.The protest appeared to be following a very common pattern in which it is peaceful until the evening or until the waning moment, when the "brothers" show up to make it "violent." It is best to take the idea of "violent DPP protesters" with a grain of salt. Since the TV media naturally focuses on the violent acts, "I saw it on TV" is not a valid representation of the protest. Realtime camera of one of the protests here.
Traffic, on the other hand, is a nightmare. If anyone has to come to the area, plan accordingly.
I just got back from the protest. I arrived around 1.30pm. The "violence" from what I saw was tiny, a few dozen people out of tens of thousands. So people, stopped falling for media propoganda. As soon as people starting getting rough wiht the police organizers jumped in immediately to try to stop them.
This was a peaceful protest and 99.99% of people simply marched and shouted as is their right.
I took tons of pics and will post some later.
One thing to consider though. This was gross overkill on the gov's part. I decided to walk around the cordoned area around the presidential building and it took me 1.5 hours. About 2 square kilometres or more were blocked off with barbed wire, metal fences and rows of cops in riot gear.
Provoke your people like this, act as if you are scared of them, and shit is going to happen.
The local papers usually announce them. I knew the protest was today and saw the time posted in the Taipei Times when I got up. Since I had a free day I rushed downtown to be part of the fun.
No problem at all video taping and photographing. Everyone is doing it.
As for the "violence" well, after the metal fences were pulled down everyone just moved into the centre of the road and sat and stood on the dividers with the palm trees growing out of them. Even the baboo baboo vendors moved in.
We have seen large numbers of riot police, brutality and barbed wire and water cannons before. Used to be a regular sight not too long ago.
Its the same old tussle. DPP vs KMT. Taiwan independence vs China.
Southern Taiwan vs Northern Taiwan (again DPP vs KMT)
The police tactic is again to let the protestors run amok and cause trouble. The KMT does this time and again to show people that the DPP brings trouble. Gangsters are always employed for this purpose and heaven knows Taiwan is 10pct made up of gangsters and hooligans who just LOVE a chance to riot and get back at the police.
Yep. You set up a perimetre that takes almost two fucking hours to walk around, put cops in riot gear all over the streets, and barbed wire walls, well, this is provocation. Seriously, everyone should get out there and see just how many cops are about and the ridiculous level of overkill.
When a government stops trusting the people, then the people start acting in like fashion.
cjc444, I am interested to know if you saw any violence at all. I saw one incident which was tiny but obviously from the way some people reacted on Fcom the news made it seem monstrously out of control. I also have my suspicions about the guys who started fighting with the police as I was not 30m from the incident. When the walls came down a groups of tough looking guys just suddenly ran around the corner and rushed over to start trouble with the police.
It was very suspicous as everyone else just hung back or crossed the barrier and proceeded to hang out on the street. You'll see in my pics later.
I went to all the 3 protests today (afternoon, Legislative Yuan and ZhongShang North Road, and didn't see any violence - even when I was taking pictures of the cops behind the barbwire in ZhongShang N. Road....
What you see on the news is just what they want you to see.... what about being there, and feeling it?
What about being with about 200 people and watching more than 400 cops crossing the bridge, watching water tanks coming in and people with video cameras filming everything (but just the protester side, not the police side)?
I missed the part where the protesters snipped the wires and broke through the barricades so I cannot comment on that and when I arrived at the area around NTU all I saw was a handful of a-bei's beating on the shields. After that calmed down I headed to the protests at the bridge where I expected to see violence, but while I was there the only violence I saw was water bottles being chunked at the fully-armoured pigs. At one point a couple of protesters pulled down one of the barricades and I shit-you-not within 15 minutes a group of guys picked it back up and set it back in place so no one would get hurt.
When I left at 10:30 it seemed the majority of the protesters were dispersing so I agree with your observations that the violence was done by a select few who were up to no good.
Overall this week I attended four different protests, and I was very very proud to be involved. I took hundreds of pics these past few days and they pretty much mirror yours MM. And I will repeat again, if these situations happened in our countries, the violence seen here would be minor compared to what we would have seen at home.