Monday, March 24, 2014

=UPDATED X4= Police Clear Executive Yuan Protesters using water cannon, violence

UPDATE 4: Frozen Garlic moves towards the position many of us are now reaching, that the students should declare victory and leave the LY.

Ma's speech from yesterday in English

UPDATE 3: Video of police clearing protesters

Once again, English feeds and links

UPDATE 2: A-gu rips the Ma government on his awesome blog

UPDATE 1 Student response:

In response to the continuing developments at the Executive Yuan, we release the following joint statement between the student occupiers of the Legislative Yuan and the Executive Yuan:

“Under orders from President Ma Ying-jeou, thousands of riot police have started violently dispersing our peaceful occupation of the Executive Yuan. Hundreds of Taiwanese citizens – mostly students - have emerged from police lines beaten and bloody. Dozens more have been sent to emergency rooms around the city.

We shed tears for our comrades, the strong and the brave that had the audacity and the courage to stand up for their country against overwhelming odds. Against a broken system, a president that has lost any semblance of credibility, a president willing to use violent force to break up a peaceful gathering of citizens, we stand for democracy, for hope, and for Taiwan.

These are Taiwan’s future generation that you are beating. A generation of hope, not of broken bones to emerge limping and bleeding due to police treatment. Some of them, as one person declared before the cameras, are the children of the very own police officers you sent to violently suppress them. Some of them could have been your own children.

Our message to President Ma is this: We will not waver. Against an undemocratic and autocratic government, we stand strong and we stand united. We demand that:
1.     1. President Ma apologize and Premier Jiang Yi-huah to step down  for their role in the crisis
2.     2. The Cross-Strait Service Trade Agreement be sent back
3.     3. Cross-strait agreements not to be negotiated or signed pending the passage of a monitoring mechanism for such agreements.”


The occupation of the Executive Yuan was really stupid. The police responded with violence, as we all feared last night before I went to bed. J Michael Cole in The Diplomat:

With no sign of a resolution in sight, a group of protesters slipped past security at the Executive Yuan, the seat of the Cabinet, at 7:35 p.m. on March 23. Immediately the group inside the legislature distanced itself from the action in a press release, though from the leadership on the ground it was obvious that they belonged to the alliance. By 8:30 p.m., a few thousand people were occupying the compound. Following a brief standoff with police, protesters broke into the building through the main door or by climbing ladders to upper windows. Aside from damage to the main doors and two broken windows, there were no other signs of damage to the building. Several thousand people also gathered on Zhongxiao Road in front of the building.

Although police authorities had not acted on orders to evict the activists from the legislature — relations have in fact been rather cordial, with protesters often applauding and thanking law enforcement — Sunday’s occupation of the Executive Yuan was a major escalation, and soon there was chatter that police would intervene. The Cabinet gave the order at 10:30 p.m. and told police to do everything necessary to evict the occupiers by 11 p.m. In response, the Democratic Front Against Cross Strait Trade In Services, one of the groups orchestrating the occupation at the legislature, issued a press release, in which it called on the authorities, “to not use violence to suppress the protesters.” It also called on the government “to not release emergency orders and to not mobilize the armed forces.”

As hundreds of police with shields and batons formed a line in front of the Executive Yuan, an even larger contingent of riot police, flanked by truck-mounted water cannons, faced off with protesters behind the building on Beiping Road. At about midnight, the order was given to rid the area of protesters. About 200 riot police, armed with shields and batons, descended on the protesters as the latter were about to sit down and shouted “please don’t use force against us.” At one side, a young woman, crying, called out to her boyfriend who was among the protesters. Several black-clad riot police swung their batons at young protesters, while police used their PVC shields to hit sitting protesters on the legs. Several dozens of protesters were eventually taken out — oftentimes shoved violently and dragged around — while police pushed out of the area. Protesters complained that the riot police had masked their badge numbers. Journalists who identified themselves as such and showed identification were also ordered to leave.

Cole believes as I do that the EY undermined the Occupation's public image but thinks the police attack on the protesters will offset the damage. However, the media will blame the protesters, and many in the public will likely follow suit. This will likely be a net harm to the cause.

J Michael also said that there was little damage to the EY but other reports I heard and from what was on the feeds suggest otherwise. Apparently Premier Jiang's office was ransacked and from other offices computers and such were carried out. However, those reports have not been confirmed by media on the ground. Further, there's a report circulating that the leader of the entrance into the EY building was the son of a local KMT politician. I'm discounting that, it smells fake to me. However, bear in mind that the common KMT tactic over the years is to disrupt protests using gangsters or fake protesters.

The protesters were letting themselves be carted away passively. The beatings were totally unnecessary. 56 in hospital according to local media reports. The report of a death seems false.

This was just stupid in every way. The EY occupiers were idiots. Fortunately LY people are still there and managed to put a little distance between them and EY fools.

Also, my friend Drew asks: Where is Hau Long-bin, Mayor of Taipei? It's his city....

Images: ETTODAY, Apple Daily Facebook page
"Our Democracy Must Not Die" Benedict Young
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Ryan said...

I agree. It was a very ill-advised move on the part of the protesters.

Anonymous said...

What we are seeing of Ma echoes the paternalistic attitude of the authoritarian governments of yore. This should not be a surprise as Ma was a part of the authoritarian apparatus for much of his career.

Because Ma and his circle feel the agreement will be good for Taiwan, they will make it pass. This message has been made very clear by Ma and his cohorts.

They seem to believe Taiwanese citizens are too ignorant, uneducated and short sighted to comprehend the intricacies of Taiwan's economic policies. Those are sentiments that have been exposed in Ma's own communications in the media, as well as Jiang's "dialogue" with the students, and even Wang jin Ping's statements.

These sentiments are not new to Taiwan. It was this type of thinking that led to the clash of cultures predicating Taiwan's other major confrontations between citizens and the state. It is a thinking that is, at its heart, authoritarian and colonial. It does not allow for citizens to determine their collective fate, good or bad.

Unfortunately, this type of colonized thinking has been adopted by many in Taiwan who have bought into the belief that only the KMT has the knowledge and experience (and social class) to manage economic affairs. And hence, looking back at the two prior presidential elections, this belief, aided by the democratic process of electoral politics managed to result in a government that acts above the interests of the people it claims to represent based on their own faith in themselves as "natural" leaders.

The students messed up by rushing things and not letting the authoritarian tendencies in the KMT drive the move toward violence. Now, how do the students recover their legitimacy as a public voice?

Marc said...

Where was Hau? indeed!

More to the point, where are the saner and more pragmatic voices of government?

STOP Ma said...

As much as I hate to say it, Frozen Garlic has a persuasive argument.

The Taiwanese are really the ones to blame. You elect PandaMa twice -- what the heck do you expect?!!

It's not like he was the wolf in sheeps' clothing.

The writing was on the wall for everyone to see.

Michael Turton said...

STOP MA, don't worry, you're wrong. Frozen Garlic's argument, other than his dawning realization that it is over, is largely wrong. I see no point in fisking it at the moment, but the next person who makes those arguments I'll rip.


Anonymous said...

1) Wang Dan said don't be too worried about the EY occupiers. Similar branching-out activity occurred during their Tianman Square protest. It happened. The leaders of the LY occupiers still handle the whole thing well.

2) Sub-committee of LY held a meeting about the service pact. Even all KMT members were absent, it nevertheless shows that LY can still function normally. It further shows that the LY occupiers actually help to bring back right and legal procedure back to LY.

3) Speaker Wang is holding a cross-party meeting in his residence this afternoon. Taiwan democracy runs better without Ma.

Anonymous said...

Quoted from Wang Dan's FB:


1. 全體同學,要相信林飛帆,陳為廷他們的處理能力,不要軍心動搖,要恢復平靜;大局不亂,小衝突就無妨;

2. 不同意見的同學,適當衝擊表達意見,作用已經達到,應當冷靜下來,否則就會矯枉過正;

3. 場內同學,應當接納場外同學代表進入決策小組,平衡不同聲音。

End of Quote

Anonymous said...

It is strange logic that Ma is so interested in losing everything to China in order to win victories in some imaginary low stakes competition against South Korea.

Anonymous said...

don’t think even the western democratic governments would tolerate protestors illegally occupying the parliament and cabinet buildings for whatever reasons. they would use the police to forcibly evacuate the protestors too. think the KMT would tolerate the peaceful protests outside the legislative and executive yuans. but the illegal occupations inside the legislative and executive yuans are seriously challenging the government’s authority. surprised that the KMT are so weak to allow the protestors to occupy the legislative yuan for a week till now.