The Debrief, 3/18/14

The Debrief, 3/18/14

For a complete summary of the Sunflower Movement: The Debrief 4/1/14.

For more images and videos since Tuesday: http://www.ketagalanmedia.com/2014/03/24/photos-occupy-legislative-yuan/

For more images from rallies in support of student demonstrators from around the world: http://www.ketagalanmedia.com/2014/03/27/worldwide-support-taiwans-sunflower-movement/

For our latest podcast interview with director of Stanford Taiwan Democracy Project Kharis Templeman on the future of Taiwan’s democracy, click here. 

Online tools created by volunteers in support of the student demonstrators: http://review.fumao.today/

Spreadsheet comparing the market sectors (market sectors already liberalized under the WTO not include): https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/lv?key=0AkaECHWtTU88dEVBUWN5UThlNnc1SXVESHZRQjYtTGc&toomany=true#gid=0 

Watch the live stream from inside the parliament floor:

http://www.appledaily.com.tw/live (Chinese)
http://www.ustream.tv/channel/longsoneng (English)

Live blogging from inside the parliament floor: http://hackfoldr.org/congressoccupied/

More live streams: http://rsghost.github.io/congressoccupied/

[Taipei, 10:00 PM 4/10/14] – Students demonstrators have cleaned up the parliament floor and vacated the premises. Student leader Chen Wei-ting and Lin Fei-fan said that this marks a beginning for the seeds of the movement to be scattered throughout the nation. Some photos:

Photo by Alysa Chiu

Photo by Alysa Chiu

Photo by Alysa Chiu

Photo by Alysa Chiu

Photo by Alysa Chiu

Photo by Alysa Chiu

 

[Taipei, 11:06 PM 4/7/14] – Student demonstrators announced that they will leave the parliament by 6 PM Thursday. Below is the report from Taiwan Voice:

At a press conference Monday night at 8:00 p.m., the student leaders announced that their student movement has evolved to a state of becoming a citizens’ movement. They also asserted that the occupation of the Legislative Yuan was one of many actions they are ready to take. The Sunflower Movement has most definitely not stopped.

More, they have satisfied the following demands:

(1) Regulations for cross strait agreement monitoring: The Citizen’s version of the cross strait agreement monitoring draft bill has been sent into the Legislative Yuan. The Executive Yuan has also sent their version.

(2) Pass the cross strait agreement monitoring act before passing the trade pact: Wang Jing-Pyng promised to not hold any negotiation between the KMT and the opposition parties.

(3) Hold a citizen’s constitutional meeting: Students and citizens group already held Grassroot Citizen Constitutional Forum on April 6, and used the decisions made during the meeting to hold a forum inside the Legislative Yuan on April 8th. The movement has already provided the results of the citizen’s constitutional meeting to society.

(4) Retract the Trade Pact: According to the meeting on March 24 in the the Legislative Yuan, the Legislators have agreed to request the Executive Yuan to retract the trade pact and re-initiate negotiation. The Legislative Yuan will continue dealing with this issue.

Students also added that the whole of Taiwanese society has become a legislative chamber. The students will face all legal ramifications for their actions as they stand resolutely behind them.

[Taipei, 12:31 PM 4/6/14] - Speaker of parliament Wang Jin-pyng visited the student at the parliament. He greeted the students and said the CSSTA will be put on hold until the negotiations oversight law is passed.

(Photo by Felicia Lin)

(Photo by Felicia Lin)

[Taipei, 10:31 PM 3/30/14] – Demonstrators from around the country gathered on the Ketagalan Boulevard in Taipei to continue showing support for what’s been called the Sunflower Movement. According to organizers more than half a million people attended, with the size of the crowd covering several blocks radiating out of Taipei’s old east city gate.

One of the leaders of the movement Lin Fei-Fan spoke at the end of the speech, calling on President Ma and his administration to answer to the movement’s demands of withdrawing the Cross Straits Services Trade Agreement, legislating a cross-straits negotiation oversight law, and convene national conferences on constitutional change. He said that they occupied parliament was because Taiwan’s representative democracy has been violated by the expansion of executive power, and that the crowd represents the common will of the people. To that end, he encouraged the crowd to exchange phone numbers and ask them to keep coming back to the parliament.

President Ma’s last press conference the day before spoke to the demands promising that relevant departments are looking into them, but the student demonstrators and supporters have deemed his responses to be too vague.

Photos from the demonstration today:

Photo by Betty Wang

Photo by Betty Wang

Photo by Betty Wang

Photo by Betty Wang

Photo by Betty Wang

Photo by Betty Wang

Photo by Betty Wang

Photo by Betty Wang

Photo by Betty Wang

Photo by Betty Wang

Photo by Betty Wang

Photo by Betty Wang

Photo by Betty Wang

Photo by Betty Wang

Photo by Betty Wang

Photo by Betty Wang

Photo by Betty Wang

Photo by Betty Wang

Photo by Betty Wang

Photo by Betty Wang

Photo by Betty Wang

Photo by Betty Wang

 

[Taipei, 1:08 PM 3/29/14] – Our correspondent Alysa Chiu asked Mr. Sean Kuo (郭德田律師), a volunteer attorney inside the parliament, about the draft of the Cross Straits Negotiations Oversight Law. We asked:

1. How is the procedure outlined by the law different from the current Taiwan-China negotiations procedure? Why the difference?

2. Which clauses in the law would be the most contentious during the legislative process?

3. What is the response to the claim that making the process too transparent will hurt the leverage of the negotiators, by revealing their bottom-lines and strategies?

Here is Attorney Kuo’s response, in Chinese. We will provide English summaries as soon as possible.

我們詢問了在立院內的義務律師有關「兩岸協定監督條例」民間版本:

1. 兩岸協定監督條例如何與現行的兩岸協商機制(如 ECFA)不同呢?為什麼有必要不同呢?

2. 協定監督條例版本如果進入朝野攻防,您認為最有爭議性的將會是哪幾條法條?

3. 對於「協定監督機制強迫談判員公開籌碼和底線,造成協商劣勢」的質疑,您怎麼回應呢?

 

 

1. How is the procedure outlined by the law different from the current Taiwan-China negotiations procedure, and how is it different from how Taiwan negotiate with countries other than China?

1. 兩岸協定監督條例如何與現行的兩岸協商機制(如 ECFA)不同呢?為什麼有必要不同呢?

 

2. Which clauses in the law would be the most contentious during the legislative process?

2. 協定監督條例版本如果進入朝野攻防,您認為最有爭議性的將會是哪幾條法條?

 

3. What is the response to the claim that making the process too transparent will hurt the leverage of the negotiators, by revealing their bottom-lines and strategies?

3. 對於「協定監督機制強迫談判員公開籌碼和底線,造成協商劣勢」的質疑,您怎麼回應呢?

 

[Taipei, 11:45 PM 3/28/14] - Some are still reeling from the events that took place on the night of March 23rd at the Executive Yuan. Officials have denied any wrong doing, while protesters and several media outlets have described the night as a violent “crackdown.” We had a chance to speak with an anonymous source who was an observer among the police lines.

He describes the riot police on scene were ordered by a commander in a mobile commanding post to forcibly remove the protesters and to continue to move forward. No order was explicitly given by the commander to hit or harm people, but nonetheless the source did state that about a third of the police officers were not exhibiting orderly conduct and had lost control.

The police actually evicted the protesters in several phases. First, as the source witnessed, was removing them through the back entrance, but some officers became violent. Therefore, in the second attempt, the commander ordered reporters be removed.  The third step was removing protesters through the front door that was also filled with many reporters. Again, reporters were ordered to be removed. Finally, people on the perimeter were vacated with water cannons.

All the while, lawyers present requested ambulances for those injured. According to the witness, police did hear the cries for help and showed signs of concern, but chose to follow orders. However, ambulances also would have blocked the path for removing people.

The witness has chosen to remain anonymous, but considered it important to reveal what he saw about a night that the Taiwanese will not soon forget.

 

[Taipei, 12:09 PM 3/28/14, Washington DC, 12:09 AM 3/28/14] – A briefing paper on the current demonstration is being circulated to members of the US Congress. Written by Julia Famularo (our interview with her can be found here), a modern East Asian political history PhD candidate at Georgetown University, the full text can be found here. An excerpt below:

Congress may wish to consider taking steps to signal its support for student protesters to engage in peaceful demonstrations without the threat of state violence. Members may consider releasing statements or a joint letter calling upon President Ma to engage in meaningful dialogue with students and members of the Taiwanese public, and calling upon the Taiwan Legislative Yuan to pass a bill establishing proper oversight over cross-Strait agreements. It is critical for the United States to continue voicing its strong support for the deepening and consolidation of Taiwan’s democracy. Fostering a prosperous economy and vibrant democracy in Taiwan ensures that America can rely on Taiwan’s active support in maintaining peace and stability in the Asia-Pacific Region.

[Taipei, 6:00 AM 3/28/14] – Several media outlets in Taiwan have reported that Academia Sinica legal scholar Huang Kuo-chang (黃國昌) met privately with Deputy Secretary-General of the Presidential Office Hsiao Hsu-tsen (蕭旭岑) in the afternoon of March 26th. This was the first time since student demonstrators occupied the parliament that a private meeting between a key member of the demonstrators and the Presidential office met.

The news reports indicate that Huang did not notify the students before the meeting and went to the meeting as a private citizen, but later told the students after a reporter asked Huang about it.

During the meeting, Huang stressed that they were not controlled by the DPP, and that the students will not give any ground on the demand to pass the negotiation oversight law first before resuming any cross-straits negotiations. The Deputy Secretary-General said he will pass on the information to his supervisors.

 

[Taipei, 5:21 AM 3/27/14] – DPP Legislator Kuan Bi-ling asks Chief of Police and Minister of the Interior about the police’s excessive use of force in removing demonstrators from inside and outside the Executive Yuan offices.

In the session, Kuan asked the Chief of Police whether it was possible to remove the students softly, to which the Chief of Police answered yes. The Chief of Police and Interior Minister said injuries to the demonstrators were due to “a minority of overzealous officers.”

 

[Taipei, 4:12 AM 3/26/14, Seattle, 1:12 PM 3/25/14] – US based advocacy group American Citizens for Taiwan has updated their information on taking action in the United States to help Taiwan: http://americancitizensfortaiwan.org/action/. You can also find an opinion piece on the recent occupation of parliament here.

 

[Taipei, 9:51 PM 3/25/14, Washington DC, 9:51 AM 3/25/14] – Taiwan’s recent events were mentioned during the March 24 daily press briefing at the US State Department. where Deputy Spokesperson Marie Harf said that the US “certainly support Taiwan’s vibrant democracy, which allows for this kind of robust political dialogue on a range of issues”, but the services agreement issue is “really an issue for [Taiwan] themselves to decide.”

http://www.state.gov/r/pa/prs/dpb/2014/03/223870.htm#TAIWAN

 

[Taipei, 3:30 PM 3/25/14] – The student demonstrators held a press conference to respond to President Ma’s invitation to the Presidential Office for a dialogue “without conditions.” The press conference was led by Spokesperson Lai Chung-chiang (賴中強) of The Democratic Front Against the Cross-Strait Trade in Services Agreement, legal scholar Huang Guo-chang (黃國昌), and student leaders Lin Fei-fan and Chen Wei-ting.

The group reiterated their demands for the Executive Yuan to withdraw the Cross Straits Services Trade Agreement (CSSTA) from the parliament, for the parliament to pass a cross-straits negotiation oversight law, and for the Procedures Committee to refrain from blocking the negotiations oversight bill.

As for President Ma’s invitation, Lin Fei-fan said that they welcome the President’s invitation and agree to no preconditions, but would want to discuss substantively 1) whether there is a need to codify oversight of Taiwan-China negotiations, and 2) should the negotiations law be passed before the CSSTA is reviewed.

Chen Wei-ting explained that they will speak with the president in any public and open format, such as in front of the Presidential Office on Ketagalan Boulevard.

The students say they will leave parliament when their demands are met, which means the negotiations law has to be put on the legislative agenda.

The group has put up a board with the faces of each legislator, and they urged each member of parliament to “vote with the people, not with their party”, and will contact each legislator to confirm if they promise to push through the students’ demands.

 

[Taipei, 4:09 AM 3/25/14] – Raw footage of riot police forcefully removing protestors from outside the Executive Yuan offices:

 

 

[Taipei, 2:09 AM 3/25/14] – Wei Yang (魏揚) was released without bail.  Wei is the student leader who spoke to the students who stormed the Executive Yuan offices and was indicted and detention was requested by prosecutors for crimes related to inciting violence, disrupting government function, and trespassing. The Taipei District Court denied the application, saying that Wei did not intend nor did he say anything to incite violence against the riot police. The full text of the court’s decision below:

臺灣臺北地方法院103年度聲羈字第74號新聞稿

有關被告魏揚因妨害公務等案件,經檢察官於民國103年3月24日聲請羈押,本院公告裁定主文:「聲請駁回。」理由如下:

一、本件檢察官以被告魏揚涉犯刑法第刑法第135條第1項、第136條第1項之公然聚眾妨害公務罪,以及同法第153條煽惑他人犯罪、第354條毀損罪、第306條侵入住居罪,犯罪嫌疑重大,且有事實足認被告有勾串共犯或證人之虞,向本院聲請羈押,並以被告之供述、現場照片、臉書列印資料,以及新聞媒體報導為證。惟查:

(一)被告固於臉書張貼:「抱歉我知道這樣動員很不負責,但請願意的朋友來行政院聲援,多來一人,就必須逼警方多派三個人清場,之所以佔領行政院,除為立法院夥伴舒減壓力,更是讓馬政府看見人民的決心」等語,然其張貼之時間係103年3月23日晚上9時許,已與檢察官所指群眾佔領行政院之時間即晚上6時許有相當之間隔,且依其用語,亦僅能認被告曾呼籲民眾前往行政院聲援,到場表達反服貿之訴求,尚不能認係被告有何謀議聚眾妨害公務,或煽動他人犯罪之行為。至被告之友人陳慧元之臉書固貼有「佔領行政院,場控是魏陽,請大家聽他的」等語,然其張貼之時間係103年3月23日晚上11時許,且依其語意,亦僅能認被告為現場之控制者,然被告究係行政院業經佔領後方進入行政院控制現場,或係由其控制現場群眾佔領行政院,已有疑問,且現場控制或為秩序之維持,或為主要發言人,實難僅憑「場控」一詞,即認被告即為佔領行政院行動之主導或指揮者。

(二)又依卷附現場拍攝得知之畫面,僅能認被告在行政院抗議現場時,曾手持麥克風對群眾發表談話,然不能認被告有何親身參與妨害公務、毀損行政院設備或侵入行政院之情形。

(三)被告於檢察官訊問時係表示其係在進到行政院後,處在主導的地位引導群眾進行訴求、抗爭等語,並未曾表示其有教導群眾如何應付到場執行驅離之員警等語,則檢察官指被告於檢察官訊問時坦承其教導群眾如何應付到場執行驅離之員警,已與卷內事證不符。

(四)況到場參與之人均一致供稱其等到場並非係受被告之號召,自不能反為對被告不利之認定。

(五)檢察官聲請意旨以本案號召、煽惑群眾強佔行政院並非僅被告一人涉案,且非被告一人即能獨自完成所有犯行,顯尚有其他人員未查悉,是在未知共犯查獲並查證之前,依其事實難認被告無勾串共犯、證人之虞等語,惟本院遍查卷內事證並無相關佐證,應屬檢察官臆測之詞,尚難逕為認被告不利事實之認定。

二、綜上所述,依現有卷內事證,本院查無積極事證足認被告有何刑法第刑法第 135 條第 1 項、第 136 條第 1 項之公然聚眾妨害公務罪,以及同法第 153 條煽惑他人犯罪、第354條毀損罪、第 306 條侵入住居罪之犯嫌,且檢察官並未舉證被告有何勾串具體之其他可能為共犯之犯罪嫌疑人,尚難逕以被告於警詢保持緘默或於檢察官訊問實拒不提供共犯者之身分,而認有事實足認為被告有何勾串共犯之虞。是檢察官聲請羈押被告,應予駁回。至被告選任辯護人顧立雄律師聲請即時訊問證人羅○○、盧○○,欲證明被告並非首謀聚眾之人,本院既認被告涉嫌尚非重大,且無勾串共犯之虞,已如前述,故辯護人顧立雄律師上開聲請調查證據,核無必要,附此敘明。

 

[Taipei, 1:00 PM 3/24/14] – Premier Jiang Yi-huah had concluded a press conference and said that the media has distorted the police action of early Monday morning as “violent” and “brutal”. He said that it was regrettable a small number of demonstrators strayed from peaceful sit-in to a premeditated and illegal trespassing of Executive Yuan offices. He further urged students and workers to not go on strike.

 

[Taipei, 10:43 AM 3/24/14] – Apple Daily reported that the Internal Administration Committee still held a committee meeting in a separate conference room next to the parliament floor, chaired by the DPP’s committee chair Chen Chi-mai (陳其邁). DPP legislators motioned for three resolutions: declare KMT chair Chang Ching-chung’s meeting void, to pass a cross-straits negotiations oversight law before resuming talks with China, and to rescind the services trade agreement. No KMT legislators were present, but the meeting met the 1/3 attendance requirement for quota.

Meanwhile, NextTV reported that staff at the Executive Yuan claimed that the student demonstrators left the Executive Yuan offices a mess, with trash and broken furniture.

 

[Taipei, 9:21 AM 3/24/14] – Other student leader Chen Wei-Ting(陳為廷) just had a speech to protesters at Legislative Yuan. Chen Wei-Ting confirmed he talked on phone with the student leader Wei Yang (魏揚), who is now at the police station along with a lawyer.

[Taipei, 7:51 AM 3/24/14] - President Ma Ying-jeou will hold a emergency meeting at 8:45AM.

[Taipei, 6:00 AM 3/24/14] – After being evicted out of Executive Yuan, the protesters stayed outside gathering around Zhong-Shan South Road(中山南路) showing no intention to leave. In order to avoid traffic congestion on roads during rush hour in the morning, the police planned to clear the road before 7AM. The policemen lined-up in two rows slowly moving forward towards the protesters to keep them away from Zhong-Shan South Road. While moving forward step by step, the policemen kept reminding the journalists to be careful as the crowd was moving backwards. It lasted for 30 min just to move the crowd a bit. After the police made sure Zhong Xiao East Road(忠孝東路) is cleared out, the police used water cannons again intending to evict the protesters faster. Some protesters were provoked by this action and they picked up rocks and water bottles throwing at the police.

Now Zhong-Shan South Road and Zhong-Xiao East Road are cleared. The police went back to guard Executive Yuan.

 

[Taipei, 5:01 AM 3/24/14] – Water cannons have been used against the protesters.

[Taipei, 4:29 AM 3/24/14] – Injured students are sent out of Executive Yuan accompanied by doctors through the pathway.

[Taipei, 4:19 AM 3/24/14] – Outside the Executive Yuan, the crowd has been saying aloud “send the media inside” and “calm down and sit down”. Earlier, the police was holding signs warning protesters outside not to try to enter the EY as it would be an illegal action. The crowd is asked to hold hands forming an unblocked path for protesters inside have their own free will to walk out if they prefer before the police start to take next action.

 

[Taipei, 3:53 AM 3/24/14] – The police just entered inside Executive Yuan. There are about 200 policemen surrounding the students.EY ey2

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Photo by Alysa Chiu

[Taipei, 3:38 AM 3/24/14] – More people gather around Executive Yuan. The police keeps asking people to sit down and  leave a pathway for injured people from inside the EY can be moved out onto the ambulance.

[Taipei, 3: 28AM 3/24/14] – Outside the Executive Yuan, there are thousands of protesters. The police has asked the crowd to leave a pathway for ambulance to access if needed. Outside, the police started to pull students off the ground with bare hands getting them to leave. Student protesters insisted to stay not willing to move.

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Photo by J Michael Cole

[Taipei, 2:20 AM 3/24/14] – Student leader Lin Fei-Fan is making a public speech from Legislative Yuan. Meanwhile the riot police continues evicting students and protesters.

[Taipei, 2:19 AM 3/24/14] – Around 40 minutes ago, the police started to evict students from the back door of Executive Yuan.

[Taipei, 2:00 AM 3/24/14] – Journalists are evicted from Executive Yuan.

[Taipei, 12:42 AM 3/24/14] – Police at the ready with batons; many of them are around the same age as the students.

Photo by Alysa Chiu

Photo by Alysa Chiu

 

Photo by Alysa Chiu

Photo by Alysa Chiu

[Taipei, 12:36 AM 3/24/14] – Reportedly a wave of clashes occurred outside the Executive Yuan between demonstrators and police, with one student injured and 23 arrested.

 

[Taipei, 12:31 AM 3/24/14] – Student leader Wei Yang (魏揚) in the Executive Yuan, saying that he will take all legal responsibility for the action:

Photo by Alysa Chiu

Photo by Alysa Chiu

[Taipei, 12:13 AM 3/24/14] – Students from various schools including National Taiwan University,  Cheng-chi University and Tsing-hua University are organizing mass boycott of classes.

[Taipei, 11:53 PM 3/23/14] – View inside the Executive Yuan, the cabinet offices of Taiwan:

Photo by Alysa Chiu

Photo by Alysa Chiu

 

[Taipei, 11:07 PM 3/23/14] – Premier Jiang Yi-huah as instructed the Ministry of the Interior and the Chief of Police to evict the students from the Executive Yuan. From our source inside the Executive Yuan, police are verbally urging the students to leave. 

 

[Taipei, 10:51 PM 3/23/14] – The Control Yuan (監察院) has also reportedly been broken into by demonstrators. 

 

[Taipei, 9:33 PM 3/23/14] – The Crowd has broken into Premiere Jiang’s office in the Executive Yuan.

Photo by Alysa Chiu

Photo by Alysa Chiu

Photo by Alysa Chiu

Photo by Alysa Chiu

Photo by Alysa Chiu

Photo by Alysa Chiu

Protesters have now occupied the Executive Yuan.

Around 200 students first climbed over the barrier placed in front of the Executive Yuan’s front gate. An estimated of 1,000 have arrived, and more to come. Police (around 100 policeman) has arrived on the scene, but has not been able to stop the crowd from pouring in.

They managed to enter the building by breaking the windows. Police tried to turn off the light twice to stop the students from making further moves, but the light was turned back on after students was inside the building.

Black Island Nation Youth Front” (黑色島國青年陣線), has also confirmed about it on their facebook page at 7:35 p.m, but reiterated that the action was mobilized by students from around the country, rather than the group.

Student leader, Lin-Fei-fan said in the press conference held at 8:30 p.m. that he respects the students, but encourages them to follow the non-violent principle.

[Taipei, 6:30 PM 3/23/14] – Scuffle erupted earlier at around 4:30, at one of the side entrance to the parliament chamber. Around 20 protesters from the outside demanded the police to withdraw from the building and intended to force themselves through the door. Pushing and shoving led tension to peak fever high. Student leader Lin Fei-fan and Chen Wei-ting urged everyone to calm down, but it took them a while to succeed.

Lin: “this is not a fight between the people.”

Lin admitted that they have received complaints about them being too mild, and that the movement should take a more aggressive approach. Teary-eyed, Lin added, even though President Ma’s response earlier this morning was extremely disappointing, it is important that the operation continues in a peaceful manner. The organizing group is collecting opinions from different civic groups in preparation from their next move.

[Taipei, 1:00 PM 3/23/14]  - Student Leader Lin Fei-Fan spoke at a press conference in response to President Ma’s earlier statement:

Regarding the Cross Strait Services Pact, he highlighted that the government has continued to ignore the opinions of the people which is a failure of democracy. This has prompted the people to occupy Parliament and tens of thousands more to take to the streets to express their concern for Taiwan’s future.

After eagerly awaiting President Ma’s response for 6 days, the protesters are disappointed by the repetition of government propaganda and the neglect of public opinion.

If the people cannot hold the government accountable and executive power dominates all, then this democracy is fake, and instead a true dictatorship. This demonstration has revealed the lack of democracy. The students occupied the Parliament to highlight the absurdity of the current system. People in democratic countries, must be able to participate in deciding the future of the country. Taiwan must as does all of its people.

The group has added a new demand:

  1. Convene a “Citizens Constitutional Conference” for all parties and all parts of society
  2. The Executive Yuan must send back the Cross-Strait Service Trade Agreement
  3. A bill to monitor cross-strait agreements must pass within the current legislative session
  4. President Ma Ying-Jeou must answer our demands.

[Taipei, 10:19 AM 3/23/14] – President Ma Ying-jeou holds press conference at the main hall of the Presidential Office, and says that while he is concerned about the developments surrounding the student’s occupying parliament, but “the agreement has not been ratified, there is still space for deliberation, but to express displeasure the students invade and take over parliament and disrupt the working of our government—is this the kind of democracy we want?”

President Ma also reiterated that the services trade agreement is important to Taiwan’s economic development, and that “if we do not sign and ratify free trade agreements, we will be behind other countries.”

[Taipei, 12:05 AM 3/23/14] – Images by J Michael Cole (his blog here) on the meeting between student leader Lin Fei-fan and Premier Jiang Yi-huah. We also have a correction that attorney Lai Chung-chiang (賴中強) was also in the conversation with Premier Jiang, and he interjected on a number of occasions.

The crowd, organized with a walking path in between (Photo by J Michael Cole)

The crowd, organized with a walking path in between (Photo by J Michael Cole)

Student leader Lin Fei-fan, center in green (Photo by J Michael Cole)

Student leader Lin Fei-fan, center in green (Photo by J Michael Cole)

Lin Fei-fan asking Premier Jiang Yi-huah to respond (Photo by J Michael Cole)

Lin Fei-fan and Lai Chung-chiang asking Premier Jiang Yi-huah to respond (Photo by J Michael Cole)

Premier Jiang Yi-huah says he will not meet the student's demands (Photo by J Michael Cole)

Premier Jiang Yi-huah says he will not meet the student’s demands (Photo by J Michael Cole)

[Taipei, 11:36 PM 3/22/14] – Apple Daily reports that there are 25,000 demonstrators sitting in around the parliament. Meanwhile, a petition on www.whitehouse.gov (see here) asking President Obama to oppose trade agreement between Taiwan and China has currently 94,458 signatures, 5,542 more to go to reach the 100,000 signature threshold for the White House to respond.

[Taipei, 10:26 PM 3/22/14] – President Ma Ying-jeou reportedly will hold a press conference at 10 AM on Sunday, 3/23/14 Taipei time.

[Taipei, 5:30 PM 3/22/14] – Press Conference regarding to Premiere Jiang Yi-Hua’s (江宜樺) visit

Press Conference (Photo by Betty Wang)

Press Conference (Photo by Betty Wang)

Group spokesperson: Lawyer 賴中強

The students are more than happy to start a dialogue with Jiang, but only after Jiang agrees to their two demands:

First, retract the agreement. Since the pact agreement was sent to the parliament floor from the Executive Yuan, Jiang is in the position to rescind it.

Second, pass the bill to monitor cross-strait agreements.

Jiang failed to make such promise. In response to the students’ first request, Jiang refused on the ground that the agreement is beneficial to the Taiwanese society’s well-being.

-          It would only benefit a few, namely large corporations such as those in the finance industry. However, it is not only detrimental to medium/ small scale enterprises and their employees in Taiwan, but it also harms Taiwan’s welfare system, and more importantly, its democracy.

-          It doesn’t matter how great the agreement is, the passing of it is illegal and unconstitutional.

The students’ second demand was rejected, as well, as Jiang explained that there is already a 4-step monitoring mechanism in the Executive Yuan. However, lawyer 賴中強 rebuked his claim saying that the mechanism is not written into law, and therefore, has no binding power. In addition, it only requires the Executive Yuan to brief the LY about the agreement. There is no room for people to participate in the decision-making process, nor does it allow checks and balances from the parliament.

Both sides, however, agreed that President Ma plays the key role in rescinding the agreement.

Student representative Chen, Wei-ting:

The government has pushed the citizens to their limits by not abiding by the democratic procedure and violating the value of democracy. So many people have contributed their time and energy outside the parliament, just so the government could hear their voices. Chen said the group will persist on, and more operations and actions will take place until the issue is rightfully responded.

[Taipei, 4:27 PM 3/22/14] -

Lin: “We are asking Premier Jiang to respond to our two demands.”

Jiang: “…”

Lin: “Your response is…?”

Lin: “Our friends in the media, can you stop edging forward. Premier Jiang, my name is Lin Fei-Fan, from NTU. We want to know if you will answer to our two demands.”

Jiang: “When I came here I want to listen to the students’ voices and to dialogue with everyone. I appreciate the leader Lin Fei-fan for organizing this space. These two days I have been thinking about coming here, I have thought about that us the Executive Yuan, rumors about how our interactions would be. I saw that an aboriginal student worry about his job opportunity being lost; I saw that people thought we have prepared tear gas…I was very sad. I will definitely answer your demands, and I want our government to be completely…”

Crowd: “Answer the question!”

Jiang: “Do you not want to listen to anything else other than my answers to your demands?”

Lin: “We have the upmost good-will, and we have waited for many hours for your arrival. Here we would like you to answer our questions here in front of the entire country, if you affirm our two demands. If you do, we can dialogue.”

Jiang: “I will answer the two questions. But before we do that I would like to discuss why we should do that, but since Fei-fan would like to discuss that elsewhere…we believe that the agreement will be beneficial for Taiwan and would want it to go through the legislative process…[interrupted]…as for the oversight law, us KMT have already set in motion, but if we have to legislate, we have to ask ourselves…there are four stages that we have set to discuss the bill…”

Crowd: “Pass the law!”

Lin: “We want to thank Premier Jiang for giving us such clear answers to our demands. He has told us that he cannot rescind the services agreement…and he cannot affirm our two demands. We would like Premier Jiang to join us in inviting President Ma to come talk to us! President Ma show yourself!”

[Crowd shouting slogans]

Lin: “We thank Premier Jiang for coming out and meeting with us after we have waited here for five days, and being honest with us that he cannot meet our two demands. It’s now the president’s problem and we invite President Ma to come explain to us. Everyone, after stationing here for five days, are we happy with Premier Jiang’s answers? Let’s keep staying here as our response to Premier Jiang’s answers. We will keep expanding our actions and thank all of our friends and classmates for your efforts! We are going back into the parliament floor.”

[Taipei, 4:21 PM 3/22/14] – Lin Fei-fan is speaking outside the parliament. He is reiterating the two demands: rescind the services agreement, and pass the negotiations oversight law.

“We welcome Premier Jiang to come visit us, and we want to have space for dialogue. But we want the Premier to give us an affirmative answer to our demands.”

[Taipei, 4:18 PM 3/22/14] – The crowd is urging the reporters and media personnel to sit down.

[Taipei, 4:17 PM 3/22/14] – The premier has arrived.

[Taipei, 4:13 PM 3/22/14] – Three demands from student organizer Lin Fei-fan in response to Premier Jiang Yi-huah’s upcoming arrival.

1. The Executive Yuan must send back the Cross-Strait Service Trade Agreement

2. A bill to monitor cross-strait agreements must pass within the current legislative session

3. President Ma Ying-jeou must answer our demands.

He also called on protestors to ensure the safety of Premier Jiang during his visit.

[Taipei, 3:56 PM 3/22/14] – Premier Jiang Yi-huah has not appeared yet, and the students are mocking his being late.

[Taipei, 3:37 PM 3/22/14] - Student leader Lin Fei-fan (林飛帆) is now outside the parliament and reiterates that “is more than a constitutional crisis, it is a question of President Ma Ying-jeou’s legitimacy to rule.” He lists the demands as 1) rescind the services agreement, 2) pass the negotiations oversight law, and 3) meet with President Ma. Premier Jiang has still not shown up publicly. 

 

[Taipei, 3:30 PM 3/22/14] - Student leader Chen Wei-ting (陳為廷) says that this “is more than a constitutional crisis, it is a question of President Ma Ying-jeou’s legitimacy to rule.” He demands that President Ma to face the students. 

 

[Taipei, 3:25 PM 3/22/14] - Premier Jiang Yi-huah has arrived outside the parliament. 

 

[Taipei, 2:15 PM 3/22/14] – Leader of the student demonstrators Lin Fei-Fan will go outside to attempt to speak with Premier Jiang Yi-huah.

 

[Taipei, 2:06 PM 3/22/14] - Premier Jiang Yi-huah will arrive at the parliament but WILL NOT ENTER the parliament floor, as he says the occupation is illegal. He will instead talk only to the demonstrators outside. 

 

[Taipei, 1:35 PM 3/22/14] – Premier Jiang Yi-huah will go to the parliament with other officials.

 

[Taipei, 11:41 AM 3/22/14] – The press conference at noon is postponed, because the leadership has not concluded their meeting.

[Taipei, 9:47 AM 3/22/14] – Audio recording of the press conference at 8:00 AM:

“The KMT want the entire parliament to review the Cross Straits Services Trade Agreement (CSSTA), and want us to leave first. But our demand has been the same: to rescind the CSSTA, and we want the Cross Straits Negotiation Oversight Law passed first. But the KMT has not responded at all to those demands. And we want them to disapprove Chang Ching-chung’s declaration that the CSSTA has passed committee, and they refused to do too.

At 12 noon we will have our next steps in response.”

[Taipei, 9:30 AM 3/22/14] – The KMT has announced that they will not accept returning the Cross Straits Services Trade Agreement to  line-by-line review by committee; in other words the KMT is standing by the announcement that it has cleared the committee and is up for a vote. The KMT has a majority in the parliament.

In other news, Mayday and other Taiwanese singers that have publicly voiced support for the student demonstrations are rumored to have their songs banned in China.

[Taipei, 9:28 AM 3/22/14] - Yesterday at midnight, a volunteer outside the parliament was stabbed by unidentified knife holders. It happened after he spotted the suspects vandalizing police vehicle and tried to stop them. The student was rushed to a hospital soon after. The student representative added that this is not an isolated case – similar incidents have took place during the past few days. Trouble seekers were found trying to sneak in with weapon and gas containers into the parliament chamber. Gangsters and biker gangs have been on the scene too, intending to intimidate.

[Taipei, 8:03 AM 3/22/14] – A press conference is scheduled for 8:30 AM.

[Taipei, 7:34 AM 3/22/14] – The student demonstrators have called on people all over the country to gather at local KMT offices and KMT legislator constituent offices to show solidarity. Police have surrounded the KMT Headquarters in Taipei in preparation.

[Taipei, 5:29 AM 3/22/14; New York, 5:29 PM 3/21/14] – The rally in New York has reached Union Square and also handed the Taiwan Economic and Cultural Office representative a letter in support of Taiwan’s student demonstrators.

-

[Taipei, 4:54 AM 3/22/14] – Hour 116 of the protest:

(Photo by Betty Wang)

(Photo by Betty Wang)

When will the police storm in? (Photo by Betty Wang)

When will the police storm in? (Photo by Betty Wang)

 

[Taipei, 4:04 AM 3/22/14; New York, 4:04 PM 3/21/14] – The Taiwanese rock band Mayday is currently on tour in the US, but they have publicly declared their support for the student demonstrators in Taiwan. Here is coverage from Bloomberg View, and band member Ashin’s Facebook post.

感謝相信我的人們,對我們來說,那是此刻最珍貴的事物。我同樣感謝懷疑我的人們,那驅使我努力去做到值得你們相信。

15週年紀念將屆,一路上我不完美但從不放棄努力,也許你會偶爾懷疑我的初衷是否還在,但我能向你保證我始終是我,不會背棄我們的創作與朋友。

一切都會在未來開花結果,永遠的永遠。

[Taipei, 4:00 AM 3/22/14; New York, 4:00 PM 3/21/14] – Images from rally in New York City in support of Taiwan’s student demonstrators:

unknown (2)

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[Taipei, 1:20 AM 3/22/14] – It is now Saturday, March 22 in Taipei.

Speaker of parliament Wang Jin-pyng has issued a statement about not attending the constitutional meeting called by President Ma:

一、按憲法第 44 條係總統對於院際爭議處理之規定,與本次兩岸服務貿易協議審查係屬立法院內部朝野黨團之爭議,性質截然不同。金平幾經考量,為符憲政規定,未便出席總統依上開規定所召集之院繼會商。
二、金平於會前函呈總統報告上開情形,嗣於總統來電要求與會時,再度說明未便參加之立場。隨後於曾副主席奉總統指示來電邀請時,金平再次請其轉達前述立場。總統二度來電時,金平仍嚴正表明本次爭議根源在於朝野黨團對於兩岸服務貿易協議審查程序的歧異,目前尋求問題的根本解決最為要緊。
三、金平身為院長,目前正透過各種途徑持續溝通協調,並徵詢朝野各黨團意見,必要時,將於近期召集黨團協商。同時,因馬總統身兼執政黨黨主席,金平籲請主席能體察時局,傾聽民意,促成朝野共識,儘早解決爭議,讓立法院恢復秩序。
  1. According to Article 44, Constitution of the Republic of China,  the rule regarding President’s treatment for the inter-Yuan’s controversy is different from the controversy of the parties negotiation for examining CSSTA.  After consideration, I decided that I cannot attend the inter-Yuan’s consultation to act in accordance with the Constitution.
  1. I have humbly informed the President of the above issues before the meeting. Later as the President called and requested my participation, I explained to the President again for the reason why it wasn’t appropriate for me to participate in the meeting. Later, as Secretary-General Mr. Tseng (of KMT) called me as requested by the President, I also asked Mr. Tseng to tell the President my reason and situation. After that, the President called again, and I again insisted that the cause for the controversial issue is the disagreement of different parties about the right way to examine CSSTA, and at the moment it’s most important to solve this problem.
  1. As the Head of Legislative Yuan,  I am working on communication and negotiation with all necessary measures, continuously and seek opinions from all parties. Negotiation among political parties might be commenced when necessary. Due to the fact that President Ma is also acting as the Chairman of KMT, I hereby plead that the Chairman observe the current situation and listen to peoples’ voices so as to reach a consensus on this issue among parties, settle the dispute at the earliest manner and restore the order of Legislative Yuan.

 

[Taipei, 10:53 PM 3/21/14] – Student demonstrators have occupied the floor of Taiwan’s parliament for 110+ hours and counting. Here are some images. One in particular stood out: on the facade of the building are the words 「當獨裁成為事實 革命就是義務」(“When dictatorship becomes reality, revolution is a duty”).

"When dictatorship becomes reality, revolution is a duty" (Photo by Alysa Chiu)

“When dictatorship becomes reality, revolution is a duty” (Photo by Alysa Chiu)

Hour 110 of occupation  (Photo by Alysa Chiu)

Hour 110 of occupation (Photo by Alysa Chiu)

"Look ma, I'm at the parliament protecting democracy" (Photo by Alysa Chiu)

“Look ma, I’m at the parliament protecting democracy” (Photo by Alysa Chiu)

Upside down flag to signal distress (Photo by Alysa Chiu)

Upside down flag to signal distress (Photo by Alysa Chiu)

[Taipei, 12:55 PM 3/21/14] – Parliament speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平) DID NOT attend the constitutional meeting called by President Ma Ying-jeou. In addition to Wang, Vice President Wu Den-yih (吳敦義) and Premier Jiang Yi-huah (江宜樺) were invited to resolve the current situation.

Wang and Ma has had issues with each other, specifically with a political struggle in September last year that almost resulted in Wang being stripped of his legislator seat. The reason for the conflict is mostly believed to be centered over legislative oversight of Ma’s negotiations with China, but the schism has deeper roots in KMT internal factional differences. See here for more (in Chinese).

[Taipei, 11:49 AM 3/21/14] – We have an exclusive interview with student leader Lin Fei-Fan.  我們跟學生代表林飛帆的專訪:

***

March 1990, students gathered in front of the Chiang Kai-shek Memorial, demanding democracy to be implemented in Taiwan. March 2014, a new generation of students gathered in front of the Legislative Yuan, still demanding democracy to be implemented in Taiwan.

We caught up with one of the student leaders Lin Fei-Fan for a few precious seconds on Friday morning. He had urged President Ma Ying-jeou to meet with the students and respond to their demands, and it was only hours before the noon deadline. He said the students want to rescind the agreement to liberalize trade in services with China, and to freeze further talks with China until parliament legislate a law to regulate and oversee all such talks.

But with an eye looking back at the 1990 students, whose Wild Lily Movement resulted in the first nation-wide elections of the legislature and the President, he said that representative democracy in Taiwan is still broken, and must be fixed. We didn’t get into how it could or should be fixed, but he promised that depending on how the President responds, their movement is not over yet.

March 2014, our generation of students stormed and occupied the Legislative Yuan–Day 3 and counting.

***

1990年的三月,大批學生為了台灣的民主,聚集在當時的中正紀念堂,現在的自由廣場。2014年的這時,新生代的學子們為了同樣的民主自由,齊心聚在立法院前。

周五一早,我們很幸運的和學生代表林飛帆通上電話。沒有太多的時間,但是他和我們解釋了希望和馬英九總統能有談話。 也對日後類似貿易協定和台灣所面臨的憲政問題提出見解。 談話時已是距離學生們對總統所設下的最後通牒只剩不到六小時。

他希望馬英九總統能和學生們會談,並對他們的三點訴求做出回應。

[Taipei, 11:17 AM 3/21/14] – The students inside the parliament have begun a group meeting to discuss the services agreement called “deliberative democracy” (「審議民主」會議). They plan on holding the meeting until at least 2PM in the afternoon. Legal scholar Huang Guo-chang, who has been at the protest since Tuesday night, is giving the students a run-down of the agreement and trade negotiations.

[Taipei, 8:26 AM 3/21/14] – The website for Taiwan’s parliament, www.ly.gov.tw, is down and returns a 403 Error.

[Taipei, 8:15 AM 3/21/14] – There will be a general meeting amongst the student demonstrators in the parliament at 11:00 AM Taipei time. The government leaders will also meet amongst themselves at 11:30 AM.

[Taipei, 7:13 AM 3/21/14] – It has been raining since last night into the morning. The 12:00 PM ultimatum is drawing near and the three elected (plus one unelected) head of the nation is supposedly meeting somewhere.

[Taipei, 7:08 AM 3/21/14] – View from outside the parliament, with musical interludes:

[Taipei, 5:10 AM 3/21/14] – Taiwan’s Council of Grand Justices will announce this morning that the Parade and Assembly Law’s requirement for public gatherings to apply for permission from law enforcement is unconstitutional, and will be void after one year.

The case was brought when the Wild Strawberry Movement, a student activist movement in 2008 that, among other things, protested the visit to Taiwan by China’s Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Strait (ARATS, the same organization that signed the Cross Straits Services Agreement). The Taipei prosecutor’s office indicted the students for violating the Parade and Assembly Law, and the judge submitted the case to the Grand Justices for a constitutional interpretation.

The Grand Justices now believe that having to apply for a permit from the government violates the constitutional guarantee to the freedom of assembly.

In Taiwan, oftentimes demonstrations and rallies will be met with police force trying to break up the rally, and not having a valid permit would often give the police the legal basis for dispersing protesters.

http://m.udn.com/xhtml/ViewFreeArticle?type=news&cate=6&page=1&articleid=3729504&sn=1

[Taipei, 2:56 AM 3/21/14] – According to the spokesperson of the Presidential Office, President Ma Ying-jeou will convene a meeting pursuant to Taiwan’s constitution to resolve deadlocks between the various branches of government. Vice President Wu Den-yih, Parliament speaker Wang Jin-pyng, and Prime Minister Jiang Yi-huah will meet behind closed doors to discuss how to handle the current situation. President Ma also expressed concern that rule of law must be followed.

http://newtalk.tw/news/2014/03/20/45475.html

[Taipei, 1:13 AM 3/21/14] – Former Taiwan’s Representative to the US King Pu-tsung (金浦聰) left Washington DC for Taipei earlier, and commented that in a rule of law country like the United States, “they will never let anyone violently and forcefully invade and occupy the legislature. Rule of law means an absolute intolerance to violence, especially illegal violence.” He further said that “I believe any politician who condones this behavior will not have the support of most people.”

Several US members of Congress, including Gerry Connolly, Mario Diaz-Ballart, Albio Sires and John Carter expressed gratitude towards King for working on US-Taiwan relations, including helping trade talks.

http://appweb.cna.com.tw/WebM/Menu/aopl/201403210003.aspx
http://www.chinatimes.com/realtimenews/20140321000001-260401

 

[Taipei, 12:45 AM 3/21/14] – We have received the demonstrators’ official English press release at 10:00 PM Taipei time:

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE TO THE PRESS

3/20/2014 10:00 PM

The coalition of student and civic groups against the Cross-Strait Service Trade Agreement (CSSTA) today releases the following statement:

“It has now been 48 hours since we occupied Taiwan’s legislature. We, a non-partisan group of students, civic activists, and people from all walks of life – have taken over the Legislature in protest against the undemocratic and autocratic manner in which the Cross-Strait Service Trade Agreement has been handled by the government and the legislature.

Since our occupation, we have seen tens of thousands of citizens from all across the country join us in support of our demands. Doctors have formed medical stations, lawyers have created pro bono legal teams, and professors have relocated their classes here. All this could not have been possible without the help and support from our fellow citizens concerned about Taiwan’s future.

As of 3/20, our demands include:

1. We demand that Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平) immediately void Legislator Chang Ching-chung’s announcement that the CSSTA has passed the committee stage.

2. President Ma Ying-jeou should begin dialogue with us and negotiations over:

(a) the rejection of the CSSTA; and

(b) the passage of a bill for monitoring cross-strait agreements, and a promise to refrain from negotiating such agreements in lieu of the bill. If our demands are not met by noon on Friday, March 21, our protest will continue and we will begin our next round of action.”

 

[Taipei, 10:19 PM 3/20/14] – The US-Taiwan advocacy group Formosan Association for Public Affairs (FAPA) released a video montage of Taiwanese Americans supporting Taiwan’s demonstration:

[Taipei, 11:29 AM 3/20/14] -  ”To keep students safe not using force against students.”, said Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平).

[Taipei, 9:21 AM 3/20/14] – “We are now demanding President Ma to dialogue with us directly.”

[Taipei, 9:06 AM 3/20/14] One of the student leaders Fei-fan Lin is speaking on behalf of the demonstrators at the press conference.

“We are urging all students to support us and leave class”

“Apple Daily survey says, 60% believe the students are ‘doing the right thing,’ even when mainstream media is trying to smear us to be an uncontrolled mob.”

“We are representing the People to take back the parliament. We have demands for President Ma Ying-jeou, for the KMT legislative caucus, for speaker KMT Wang Jin-pyng, but no one has responded. Instead they say the process has been entirely legal, and is waiting for Friday’s parliamentary vote of approval.”

“The agreement is not an executive order, it is an agreement between two states…President Ma says the process has been completely reasonable and legal. We do not accept that.”

“Our stance is very simple. The services agreement affects countless market sectors and everyone’s future. The result is a slope towards closer economic and political integration with China, and therefore we need to be very careful in reviewing this agreement. But it was made in a black box, and there has been no communication with the citizenry at all.”

“We want the agreement to be recinded—not just back to the committee, but we want it thrown out, and tell China we are not signing this.”

“We demand Speaker Wang to resolve the current situation by parliamentary rules and punish Chang Ching-chung. We demand the services agreement to be recinded. We demand a Cross-Straits Agreements Regulation, that allows the citizenry to oversee and regulate any agreements between Taiwan and China. Before this law is passed, we demand that all negotiations with China be frozen.”

“Before tomorrow at noon, we require your response to our demands. We invite President Ma to come to the parliament to speak with us. Tomorrow, at the time of the original scheduled vote, we demand Wang and Ma’s response. If we do not receive a favorable response, we will announce further actions.”

 

[Taipei, 9:00 AM 3/20/14] A press conference is scheduled for 9:00 AM.

 

[Taipei, 8:53 AM 3/20/14] – Earlier we missed Chinese dissident and former Tiananmen Square student leader Wu’er Kaixi appeared inside the parliament floor and spoke to the students. The full text can be found here. Below is an excerpt:

“…It’s been 25 years since 1989, and as someone who was a student then, I want to say again that the heart of a student caring about his or her own fate and own country has not died! It is growing in Taiwan, and it is growing in China. This is the hope of democracy. The students are acting within democratic precedents, and in today’s world, the students of Taiwan are impressing the world…”

“…1989年到現在25年,我那時候是學生,我再次表達一個信息,那學生關心國家關心自己命運的虔誠之心,到今天,沒有死!在台灣繼續在發揮,在中國也會繼續發揮,這就是民主的希望。學生的訴求是理性的,學生的表現方法是合乎民主規範的。在今天的這樣一個社會,台灣的學生所表現出來的素質令全世界敬佩…”

[Taipei, 6:30 AM 3/20/14] – Despite the rain spirits/determination still seem high. Time for breakfast.

[Taipei, 4:20 AM 3/20/14] – Not an update per se, but a repost of  the presentation that NTU professor and chair of the economics department 鄭秀玲 made last year arguing against the Cross Straits Services Agreement, in English and Chinese.

English click here

Chinese click here

[Taipei, 4:05 AM 3/20/14] – There still has not been any action by the police.

[Taipei, 3:15 AM 3/20/14] – Taiwan-based journalist J Michael Cole writes in the Diplomat:

“Lack of transparency in cross-strait deals, undue pressure by business groups on both sides of the Strait, governance with authoritarian tendencies, and the opposition DPP’s ham-fisted response to the many social challenges that confront the nation have resulted in a public that is increasingly disillusioned with its government and political parties. And this time, they deemed that things had gone too far and took matters into their own hands.”

[Taipei, 3:03 AM 3/20/14] – There are rumors that the police will attempt to enter the room again sometime between 3 to 5 AM. There has been no action though.

[Taipei, 2:40 AM 3/20/14] – Amnesty International’s press release on the situation in Taiwan:

The Taiwanese security forces must protect and respect human rights in any response to the hundreds of protestors that have occupied the nation’s parliament, said Amnesty International.

Approximately 200 students occupied the parliament in Taipei on Tuesday evening to protest against a proposed trade deal with China.

“The situation is clearly tense and security forces must show restraint. While police have a duty to maintain order and to protect the safety of the public, the response must only be proportionate to the threat.

“Force should only be used as a last resort. The authorities must ensure the rights of all those protesting are upheld and respected,” said Roseann Rife, East Asia Research Director.

[Taipei, 2:16 AM 3/20/14] – Video by Alysa Chiu, at earlier in the evening at approximately 9:30 PM Taipei time, of encounter with biker gang and police, with the crowd showing organization and restraint. Other media outlets have characterized the demonstration as a mob.

[Taipei, 1:53 AM 3/20/14] – Throughout the evening and into the night gangsters on motorcycles have been circling the crowd and taunting the crowd with incessant honking. At earlier around 9:30 PM Former head of the Bamboo Union triad, wanted fugitive and PRC-advocate Chang An-le (張安樂) was also seen on site, supposedly trying to stir up trouble with the protesters.

[Taipei, 1:24 AM 3/20/14] – Celebrities are endorsing the students protests joining them  in person and/or issuing statements of support including singer-songwriter Deserts Chang (張懸), film director Ko I-chen (柯一正), entertainer Cheng Chia-chen (鄭佳甄), who is better known by her nickname “Chicken Cutlet Girl” (雞排妹), Golden Bell Award-winning actor Huang He (黃河), indie singer-songwriter Crowd Lu (盧廣仲), Giddens Ko (柯景騰), variety show host Kevin Tsai (蔡康永), and Hoklo folk singer Chen Ming-chang (陳明章).

Rock band Mayday’s (五月天) bassist, Masa (瑪莎), reportedly closed his coffee shop in Taipei’s Huashan 1914 Creative Park and asked his fans to meet him outside the legislature instead.

[Taipei, 1:08 AM, 3/20/14] – So far a peaceful night, but under the reported looming eye of gangsters.

[Taipei, 10:48 PM 3/19/14] – For those of citing this live blog as a source, here is a rundown of the events of last night:

 - At 3:42 AM,  the police has broken through the doors and students are piling furniture and themselves onto the doors to keep more officers from entering. Most of the students are sitting in the area in front of the box, shouting “Repeal the agreement, protect democracy”.

- By 3:52 AM, the police has not had success breaching through the door, and have temporarily retreated.

- At 5:38 AM, the police made their second attempt to break into the room, with the students demanding to meet with the President. The students told the police if they didn’t back down in 5 minutes the students outside will be called to storm inside. The students and the police stood across from each other in a tense standoff until around 6:22 when a TSU legislator stepped in between the crowd and the police.

- At 8:00 AM the demonstrators issued a press release with the following demands: 1. Police to withdraw from the parliament immediately, President Ma issue official apology, and Prime Minster Jiang be removed; 2. Chang Ching-chung’s illegal committee meeting to be deemed nullified and the services agreement repealed; 3. Legislate as soon as possible laws to regulate agreements between China and Taiwan, and to freeze all contact and negotiations between the two sides.

- Later in the morning. the Chinese Nationalist Party, or KMT, released a press release explaining its stance on the parliament occupation situation. The KMT says that while it has “always supported a line-by-line review of the Cross Straits Services Trade Agreement, the opposition Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) has intentionally disrupted the review process and now is encouraging citizens to engage in illegal activities.”

- During the course of the day on Wednesday March 19th the scene is for the most part peaceful, with soapbox speeches outside the parliament. Both police and supporters have grown in number, as people from other parts of Taiwan arrive in Taipei and as people finish school and work.

[Taipei, 10:41 PM 3/19/14] – More photos from our friends on scene:

(Photo by Alysa Chiu)

(Photo by Alysa Chiu)

(Photo by Alysa Chiu)

(Photo by Alysa Chiu)

(Photo by Alysa Chiu)

(Photo by Alysa Chiu)

[Taipei, 9:15 PM 3/19/14] – A shape of Taiwan made up of candles:

(Photo by Betty Wang)

(Photo by Betty Wang)

[Taipei, 7:45 PM 3/19/14] – Outside the parliament, students have gathered again in the middle of the floor and preparing for a rumored police confrontation soon. Scene from outside the parliament where a makeshift speech series has begun:

Outside the parliament (Photo by Betty Wang)

Outside the parliament (Photo by Betty Wang)

[Taipei, 7:06 PM 3/19/14] – Outside Source on BBC will talk about Taiwan, live right now:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio/player/bbc_world_service

Outside the parliament, scholars and professors have also gathered and organized into a seminar series with public speeches. They have mostly confirmed and praised the students’ actions as taking steps to secure and exercise their own democratic power.

[Taipei, 5:27 PM 3/19/14] – According to the Facebook page of the Anti-Black Box Services Agreement group, police are gathering on Linsen South Road and Jinan Street. There are also rumors that the police will begin evicting demonstrators again in the evening:

(Map by Anti-Black Box Services Agreement)

(Map by Anti-Black Box Services Agreement)

[Taipei, 3:31 PM 3/19/14] – Taiwan’s Apple Daily reports that President Ma Ying-jeou did not respond to any of the student demonstrators’ demands or make any comments about their occupying the parliament this morning. Instead, at a KMT party function he stressed the importance of implementing experimental free trade zones and the services agreement. Meanwhile, the parliament has announced that it will be in emergency recess today. http://www.appledaily.com.tw/realtimenews/article/politics/20140319/362738/

[Taipei, 3:03 PM 3/19/14] – The Chinese Nationalist Party, or KMT, released a press release explaining its stance on the parliament occupation situation. The KMT, which is the majority party of the parliament and controls the presidency, says that while it has “always supported a line-by-line review of the Cross Straits Services Trade Agreement, the opposition Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) has intentionally disrupted the review process and now is encouraging citizens to engage in illegal activities.” The KMT’s President Ma Ying-jeou and his administration has pursued a China-friendly policy on trade. KMT legislator Chang Ching-chung was the committee chair who announced unilaterally that review of the agreement has closed and the agreement automatically sent to the floor for a vote (Chang cites that the agreement is deemed an “executive order” and therefore a three month period applies). Meanwhile, many DPP legislators, including Hsiao Bi-khim,  Yeh Yi-jin, and Kuan Bi-ling were at the parliament throughout the night inside the parliament floor and had scuffled with the police.

[Taipei, 1:52 PM 3/19/14] – Not an update per se, but if anyone is interested in the actual text, in Chinese. Be advised that the actual market sectors and how these trade barriers are treated are in the Appendix.

[Taipei, 12:09 PM 3/19/14] –  More police have arrived near the parliament on Linsen South Road (林森南路). They may be reinforcing the existing force, but also likely to replace the tired officers that have been there overnight:

Buses carrying police officers arrive on scene (Photo by Felicia Lin)

Buses carrying police officers arrive on scene (Photo by Felicia Lin)

Buses carrying police officers arrive on scene (Photo by Felicia Lin)

Buses carrying police officers arrive on scene (Photo by Felicia Lin)

[Taipei, 11:46 AM 3/19/14] –  This is the presentation that NTU professor and chair of the economics department 鄭秀玲 made last year arguing against the Cross Straits Services Agreement. (Click here)

[Taipei, 10:51 AM 3/19/14] –  View from the outside:

View outside the parliament (Photo by Felicia Lin)

View outside the parliament (Photo by Felicia Lin)

[Taipei, 10:16 AM 3/19/14] –  We are seeing reports that the air conditioning has been turned off inside the parliament building.

[Taipei, 10:13 AM 3/19/14] –  The police force have also reinforced about 100 officers over the last few hours, and there are reportedly around 700 officers stationed by Zhenjiang Street (鎮江街).

[Taipei, 10:05 AM 3/19/14] –  Word is that “reinforcements”, supporters of the demonstration from other parts of Taiwan, are arriving intermittently to the parliament. Meanwhile there are also reports of police gathering a larger force.

[Taipei, 9:16 AM 3/19/14] –  Here is a presentation by a investment consulting firm in Taiwan analyzing the impact by the Cross-Straits Services Agreement to the various market sectors in Taiwan: English / 中文.

CSSA Analysis (Chinese) CSSA Analysis (English)

[Taipei, 9:03 AM 3/19/14] –  Press release from the Facebook page of the demonstration:

“On the evening of March 17th, citizens protested nonviolently to save the democracy procedure and dignity trampled by President Ma Ying-jeou and KMT legislator Chang Ching-chung. However, Ma and Prime Minster Jiang Yi-huah have violated legislative independence and deployed riot police onto the grounds of the parliament to abuse students and citizens, and violated the constitution.

We demand that the Ma administration:

1. Police to withdraw from the parliament immediately, President Ma issue official apology, and Prime Minster Jiang be removed;

2. Chang Ching-chung’s illegal committee meeting to be deemed nullified and the services agreement repealed;

3. Legislate as soon as possible laws to regulate agreements between China and Taiwan, and to freeze all contact and negotiations between the two sides.

***

3月17日晚上,公民採取非暴力抗爭,搶救被馬英九與張慶忠踐踏的民主秩序與尊嚴。但馬英九與江宜樺竟違反國會自主,派遣大批鎮暴警察進入立法院,對學生與公民施暴,違法違憲。

我們嚴正要求馬英九政府:

一、警察立刻退出國會,馬英九向全民道歉,江宜樺下台;

二、張慶忠違法會議無效,立即退回服貿協議;

三、盡速完成兩岸協定簽署條例之立法,在此之前,暫停所有兩岸協商與高層互訪。

[Taipei, 9:01 AM 3/19/14] –  Photos from the scuffle at the front gate:

Scuffle in front of the parliament (Photo by 敏紅)

Scuffle in front of the parliament (Photo by 敏紅)

[Taipei, 8:46 AM 3/19/14] –  There have been rumors and reports of police action and physical scuffle at the main gate of the parliament.

[Taipei, 8:36 AM 3/19/14] –  Taiwan historian and independence activist Su Beng has been sitting out at the front gate of the parliament for most of the evening.

Su Beng at the parliament (Photo by 敏紅)

Su Beng at the parliament (Photo by 敏紅)

[Taipei, 8:30 AM 3/19/14] –  We are working to provide information on the press conference that is supposed to be happening right now. According to sources inside the parliament floor most of the student demonstrators are quite exhausted from lack of sleep.

[Taipei, 8:02 AM 3/19/14] –  Press conference to be held at 8:30 AM.

[Taipei, 7:04 AM 3/19/14] –  Police officers taking a break as well:

1964716_10100133563265311_1951697205_n

[Taipei, 7:04 AM 3/19/14] –  The mood inside the parliament has relaxed a bit and people are resting or napping on any flat surface they can find. Supposedly, supporters from other parts of Taiwan will arrive in Taipei during the day on Wednesday.

[Taipei, 6:53 AM 3/19/14] – Video of police attempting to enter through the parliament door:

[Taipei, 6:49 AM 3/19/14] – Former DPP chairman Shih Ming-te (施明德) has arrived at the parliament. Shih was a activist during the authoritarian rule of the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) under Chiang Kai-shek.

[Taipei, 6:36 AM 3/19/14] – The police as once again retreated for the moment. News reports are reporting three or four attempts by the police to grab whomever they can. In other news, daybreak in Taipei:

1926710_10100133556578711_1769402454_n

[Taipei, 6:33 AM 3/19/14] – The police force is still gathered at the door to the right of the parliamentary floor in a tense stand-off with the student demonstrators inside.

[Taipei, 6:22 AM 3/19/14] – The scene seems to have died down a bit. The legislator who spoke to the police as they were breaching the door was Taiwan Solidarity Union’s (TSU) Zhou Ni-An (周倪安). The TSU has traditionally supported anti-China policies.

[Taipei, 6:14 AM 3/19/14] – Fei-Fan Lin seems to be telling people at the front to lock arms and some of the students at the front were seen taunting the police. Now a female legislator have appeared between the students and the police at the door.

[Taipei, 6:13 AM 3/19/14] – Police are entering again and pulling the students at the front near the door outside.

[Taipei, 6:05 AM 3/19/14] – View outside the parliament:

View outside the parliament close to daybreak (Photo by Alysa Chiu)

View outside the parliament close to daybreak (Photo by Alysa Chiu)

View outside the parliament close to daybreak (Photo by Alysa Chiu)

View outside the parliament close to daybreak (Photo by Alysa Chiu)

[Taipei, 5:58 AM 3/19/14] – Fei-Fan Lin (林飛帆) is leading the crowd in demanding to meet with the president and for the police to withdraw.

[Taipei, 5:54 AM 3/19/14] – The speaker at the parliament floor seemed to be Fei-Fan Lin (林飛帆).

[Taipei, 5:52 AM 3/19/14] – There’s a countdown by the crowd now.

[Taipei, 5:48 AM 3/19/14] – The demonstrators are now demanding that the police commander withdraw his officers IN FIVE MINUTES or they will ask the demonstrators from the outside to “come in.”

[Taipei, 5:44 AM 3/19/14] – The police have stopped pushing forward, and there are intermittent shouts about the police hitting Members of Parliament.

[Taipei, 5:40 AM 3/19/14] – The students are shouting for President Ma Ying-jeou to meet.

[Taipei, 5:40 AM 3/19/14] – The students are shouting for President Ma Ying-jeou to meet.

[Taipei, 5:38 AM 3/19/14] – The speaker with the loudspeaker is telling the police that “the 1,000 plus demonstrators outside will have action”.

[Taipei, 5:36 AM 3/19/14] – The leaders inside the parliament floor is telling people to hold hands and form a barricade, and the students are shouting “back off police.” The police have broken through the right door and is forcing entry.

[Taipei, 5:35 AM 3/19/14] – More demonstrators are gathering at the right entrance.

[Taipei, 5:32 AM 3/19/14] – Students are gathering and blocking the entrance on the right of the parliament floor with more furniture as barricades. The police may be forcing entry again.

[Taipei, 5:01 AM 3/19/14] – More demonstrators are gathering outside.

Outside LY by 許文輔

Outside LY by 許文輔

[Taipei, 4:35 AM 3/19/14] – The demonstrators appear to be resting after stopping the first attempted breach.

[Taipei, 4:20 AM 3/19/14] – The demonstrators have issued three demands at the beginning of the struggle yesterday: 1. Repeal the Cross-Straits Services Trade Agreement. 2. Urge the speaker of parliament Wang Jin-pyng to refrain from using the police and disallow riot police to enter the parliament. 3. The parliament must pass laws to oversee and regulate any documents to be signed between Taiwan and China. (Chinese original follows)

一、我們要求,為了捍衛人民權益,立刻退回服貿協議。 二、我們要求立法院長王金平堅持國會自主,無須動用警察權,且不得讓鎮暴警察進入國會,切莫再次傷害台灣民主。 三、我們要求,在任何兩岸的相關條例審查前,立法院應通過兩岸相關協定簽訂及監督條例。

[Taipei, 4:09 AM] 3/19/14 - The police’s first attempt at breaking into the parliament floor:

Students trying to block the door at the police's attempt at breaking through (Photo by 許文輔)

Students trying to block the door at the police’s attempt at breaking through (Photo by 許文輔)

[Taipei, 4:04 AM 3/19/14] – A view outside and inside the parliament:

At the front gate (Photo by 敏紅)

At the front gate (Photo by 敏紅)

Inside the parliament before the police's first attempt to enter (Photo by 許文輔)

Inside the parliament before the police’s first attempt to enter (Photo by 許文輔)

(Photo from demonstration's Facebook event page)

(Photo from demonstration’s Facebook event page)

[Taipei, 3:56 AM 3/19/14] – Students are cheering as the police have entirely retreated from the parliament floor. We are covering the on-going demonstrator occupation of Taiwan’s parliament into the early morning on Wednesday, Mar. 19, 2014 Taipei time.

[Taipei, 3:52 AM 3/19/14] – Police have urged students to give them space to retreat and the police have temporarily backed out of the parliament floor.

[Taipei, 3:49 AM 3/19/14] – Students are shouting for the police to back away, as the police force is forcing themselves onto the floor. More students are gathering and pushing themselves against the doorway.

[Taipei, 3:46 AM 3/19/14] – The doors have been breached but most of the police force is still outside the parliamentary floor. The police is urging students to move away from the doors.

[Taipei, 3:43 AM 3/19/14] – The police is making announcements telling the students to refrain from pushing furniture onto the doors to block their entrance.

[Taipei, 3:42 AM 3/19/14]  – The police has broken through the doors and students are piling furniture and themselves onto the doors to keep more officers from entering. Most of the students are sitting in the area in front of the box, shouting “Repeal the agreement, protect democracy”.

[Taipei, 3:39 AM 3/19/14] – The police is forcing themselves through the two doors behind the speaker’s box, as well as another door to the left. They have broken through the doors with students blocking the doors.

[Taipei, 3:38 AM 3/19/14] – THE POLICE IS ENTERING.

[Taipei, 3:28 AM 3/19/14] – Earlier students rummaged through the desk of KMT legislator Chang Ching-chung (張慶忠) and uploaded a stash of business cards from Chinese businessmen and leaders. Chang Ching-chung is the chair of the Internal Administration Committee who announced that the trade agreement has automatically passed after three months deliberation. One of the leaders Fei-Fan Lin (林飛帆) then prohibited students from entering into more desks and drawers.

[Taipei, 3:17 AM 3/19/14] – Police says they will break in in 10 minutes. Students are shouting for the police to leave.

[Taipei, 3:01 AM 3/19/14] – Riot police on standby outside the parliament at Zhenjiang Street (鎮江街):

Riot police on standby outside of the parliament (Photo by Felicia Lin)

Riot police on standby outside of the parliament (Photo by Felicia Lin)

[Taipei, 2:58 AM 3/19/14] - The parliament demonstration was sparked by the Taiwan-China free trade agreement on services, which was unilaterially passed out of committee by the KMT. Here is an excerpt from the Debrief podcast this week:

On Monday, the Cross-Straits Services Trade Agreement has left the Internal Administration Committee and is now on the parliament floor for a vote. The agreement has been signed between China and Taiwan in June last year to open up sectors ranging from finance to food and medical services for each other’s enterprises and labor.

Amidst jostling at the committee hearing today, the committee chair KMT legislator 張慶忠  unilaterally announced in the corner, three minutes into the committee meeting,  that the agreement has “expired its three month review period and is automatically deemed to have passed.”

 

[Taipei, 2:45 AM 3/19/14] – Students are gathering on the floor space at the front, with announcements giving instructions on how to react when the police comes to remove the demonstrators. The speaker is urging peaceful cooperation with the police with specific instructions on where to put one’s hands and arms to avoid injury and confrontation with the police.

[Taipei, 2:21 AM 3/19/14] – Images from inside and outside the parliament:

Barricaded the doors

Barricaded the doors (Photo by Yi Pan)

Demonstrators occupy the floor and speaker's box

Demonstrators occupy the floor and speaker’s box (Photo by Yi Pan)

At the front gate of the Parliament

At the front gate of the Parliament (Photo by Felicia Lin)

Outside the fence

Outside the fence (Photo by Felicia Lin)

[Taipei, 1:36 AM 3/19/14] – Students are singing as they prepare for the police to breach. It is now the morning of Wednesday, March 19, 2014 in Taiwan.

On 9:00 PM Tuesday night Taiwan Time, demonstrators outside the parliament in Taipei have stormed the building and occupied the parliament floor. Police were pushed out and shut outside the floor by a barricade of furniture. Right now, there are about 500 demonstrators, mostly students, inside the parliamentary floor and about 1,000 more outside the gates of the parliament. Academics active in social movements such as Academia Sinica legal scholar 黃國昌, and independent candidate for Taipei mayor 柯文哲, have been on site. Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) current and former chairpersons Su Jen-chang, Tsai Ing-wen, Frank Hsieh and other DPP legislators have also joined the sit-in, as well as Taiwan Solidarity Union members. We will be live-blogging the events unfolding in Taipei on this post.

(Feature photo by Caluti Liao, via Facebook)

The Debrief

A well informed citizenry is the foundation of our modern society. Every week, our news team brings you the most important stories on current affairs, diplomacy, business and human rights, in Asia and around the globe. Not only can we be well informed, but better informed, about the relationship between our lives, our communities, and the common world.