Taiwan police expel students from admin building
Updated: 2014-03-24 14:40
TAIPEI - Taiwan's police took action on Sunday night to dislodge students and members of the public occupying the administrative authority building in Taipei.
Large crowds of protesters opposed to a cross-Straits service trade pact, which is still under deliberation at the legislative body, besieged the building from 7:30 pm Sunday, shouting slogans and clashing with police. Dozens of protestors broke into the building through the windows.
The occupation and reports of vandalism prompted the authority to condemn the "illegal violence" and send in the police. After negotiations failed, a tense stand-off between around 2,000 police and protesters, whose number had grown to several thousand by midnight, was ended when police began driving out protesters around mid-night.
Protesters joined arms and lay down together outside the building but were hauled away one by one by the police.
The police action lasted about five hours, with more than 2,000 protesters removed from the site and 61 arrests. A total of 110 people were injured, said Jiang Yi-huah, the administrative chief.
Related reading: Taiwan leader defends cross-Straits service trade pact
Taiwan leader Ma Ying-jeou on Sunday defended the cross-Straits service trade pact.
Ma made the remarks at a press conference as hundreds of college students continued to occupy the legislative chamber in Taipei. They are protesting about what they see as undemocratic tactics used by the KMT to ratify the pact and are worried about the effect on the local economy. [More]