Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Students Beaten by Thugs as Cops Stand by, Ma calls for "tolerance"

As President Ma visited a temple in Tainan the other day, a group of five students protested the plan to bring Chinese students over and recognize their credentials as students. They were attacked by thugs dressed in temple gear apparently in full view of the police, who did nothing. The police then detained the students and questioned them. Several Taiwan bloggers were all over this story:

Claudia Jean writes:
"Apparently, the police arrested those students but none of those who attacked the students. It is amazing that those attackers could escape with the level of police and national security protection around Ma Ying-jeou. Those students were taken into a precinct and interrogated. The police wouldn’t let them go and Tainan City Councillors found out that the Head of National Security was expecting ‘information’ and Investigation Bureau also sent an officer to the precinct.

The police told Tainan City Councillor, Wang Ding-yu, that they were simply taking a record for those students in case they wanted to press charges against their attackers even though the students already said they didn’t want to press charges. The interesting thing is Wang discovered that the questions the police posed to the students were:

How many of you are there?
Do you belong to any organisation?
What’s the name of your organisation?
Where did you hold the meeting, preparing for this protest?
How did you organise and prepare for this protest?
Where did you meet up before setting off to the temple?
What tools or instruments did you prepare?
Was there anyone who teaches or advices on your activity?
How do you keep in contact with each other?

Seriously, do the above questions look like they were helping the students keep a record in the event of bringing charges against their attackers?"
My man Maddog collected videos of the incident and previous incidents that appear to clearly show the police ignoring the violence.

Finally, that Ma called for "tolerance" on the part of the police for dissent, which he said originated in a the fact that Taiwan is a multi-ethnic society, as if protesters dissented because they were of a different ethnicity, not because they disagreed with a policy. Ma did not mention the fact that the police appeared to simply let the beatings take place, right in front of his security cordon.

I was hoping there would be more English-language coverage of this story, but the media did not pick it up. Nevertheless, as maddog documents, it seems to be yet another in an increasing and disturbing trend of police not being punished for (in)action in the context of democratic protest, as well as the deployment of gangsters against protesters.
___________
Daily Links
_______________________
Don't miss the comments below! And check out my blog and its sidebars for events, links to previous posts and picture posts, and scores of links to other Taiwan blogs and forums!

20 comments:

Thomas said...

Out of curiosity, what local media picked this up? I worry more that Taiwanese would not learn about this than about whether foreigners learn about it or not.

And as long as you are on the subject of China and India, you might like this article:
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/05/04/business/media/04media.html?ref=business

It seems that at least one Western industry finally understands the myth of the 1.3 billion Chinese customers just waiting to buy their product. Yep, in the media industry, China has actually gone cold, even for Warren Buffet of find-a-Chinese-wife-who-is-more-attractive-than-what-you-could- ever-get-at-home fame.

Anonymous said...

Always enjoy videos of Taidu activists getting their asses kicked.

Of course, in your eyes, the students are "real" Taiwanese standing up for Taiwan... while the temple guards are some variety of the "other".

Dalbanese said...

Wow, this is kind of disturbing to read. This taken into account with the incident of that blogger meeting interrogation recently speak of an overly-sensitive security apparatus.

If you don't mind, would you be willing to post the name of the book you mentioned as being reviewed in FEER? I'm afraid the link requires a subscription login. Thanks!

Islander said...

This is outrageous! It's amazing how many people China has working for them in Taiwan.

Dad said...

We did run it on FTV English News on Monday night. I know our ratings are not high and not many watch but we occasionally do good work....
http://englishnews.ftv.com.tw/history.asp?date=2009/5/4

Anonymous said...

Nowadays you really cannot tell if you are reading news about Taiwan or China. Gangsters beating up protesters?
We do learn a lot from the Chinese, don't we?
Meg

Maoman said...

What a disgrace! Cops and temple goons are a blemish on this island. I'm surprised that you haven't done an expose on the links between organized crime and local "religious" organizations yet...

Taiwan Echo said...

Students Beaten by Thugs as Cops Stand byHey, man, the police didn't stand by -- they arrested the students !!

Michael Turton said...

Always enjoy videos of Taidu activists getting their asses kicked.

Of course, in your eyes, the students are "real" Taiwanese standing up for Taiwan... while the temple guards are some variety of the "other".
Actually, nothing says the kids are Taidu activists. The temple thugs are also the real Taiwan, one fostered by the authoritarianism whose boots you lick.

Michael

cfimages said...

Apparently, 6 of the temple goons have now been arrested.

Anonymous said...

Western industry finally understands---

whahaahaha..

reeb said...

And in other news:

China has 100 million people with mental illnessWord is they are on the fast track for KMT membership. ~!

Michael Turton said...

6 goons arrested. Amen. Only three days late.

Michael

Anonymous said...

Check this out, Michael, *very* disturbing.
http://www.plurk.com/p/s2o0s

Robert R. said...

China has 100 million people with mental illnessWord is they are on the fast track for KMT membership. ~!Does this include those that try to file complaints with the government? I don't think they're the KMT type.

Anonymous said...

"Always enjoy videos of Taidu activists getting their asses kicked.

Of course, in your eyes, the students are "real" Taiwanese standing up for Taiwan... while the temple guards are some variety of the "other".'

You know... I have read some fringe people on the TI side use this language, but on this blog I have only seen it referenced by critics who are attacking Mr. Turton for things he has never said.

I am sorry Anon, but what are you referencing when you make such an inference?

On this blog Mr. Turton has always held a nuanced understanding of identity politics and has been equally critical of the ethnic national deployment of identity.

Could you please specify what exactly Mr. Turton has said than has given you the impression he endorses Taiwanese ethnic nationalism?

This is the second time I have seen a message in the same vein that seems to come from nowhere.
I am just confused about this.

Thanks

Anonymous said...

Michael, thanks for letting through the "Taidu activists getting their asses kicked" comment. It's entertaining and informative that people say these things completely without a basis in fact. The raw venom and irrationality that drives it can be felt. I don't know if I'd enjoy a whole lot of comments like this, but it is a good chuckle every one in awhile.

Anonymous said...

What I saw was "shuffling" of unruly students/brats in the video, but I did not "beating" up. They were still shouting and acting up in the police station. Not exactly who is the "victims" here- the policemen who had to endure the unruly shouting in their station are the "victims" in my dictionary, because they can't even talk about to the students. How powerless and patheic and still getting grief from people like you. It's funny how the TI foreingers like you always downplay DPP violence, but make unsubstainiatiated claims of supposedly violent treatment of DPP or "students". Whatever...

Michael Turton said...

The raw venom and irrationality that drives it can be felt. I don't know if I'd enjoy a whole lot of comments like this, but it is a good chuckle every one in awhile.

Thanks, that's pretty much why I let them through. It makes it clear, in a very dramatic way, what a bunch of vicious idiots the other side are.

Thomas said...

"What I saw was "shuffling" of unruly students/brats in the video, but I did not "beating" up. They were still shouting and acting up in the police station. Not exactly who is the "victims" here- the policemen who had to endure the unruly shouting in their station are the "victims" in my dictionary"

I see. So the students (or is it "brats"?) were roughed up by thugs and arrested by the police for no reason. They then had the temerity to complain about the arrest. Oh the horror that those poor, poor police officers had to endure!

Are you even trying to foster a serious debate (I don't know why I asked, because I can see you are not)? If you agree with what the police did, please base your reasons on something solid. You sound like a shrill ninny complaining because the neighbour next door is playing his music too loud while you are tooting away on your trumpet. It says much more about your intellectual immaturity than it detracts from the argument of the students in question.