Taiwan News, Staff Writer
2013-08-21 05:14 PM
After a rally Sunday, supporters of the residents of four homes demolished by the Miaoli County Government in Dapu, Chunan, last month headed for the Ministry of the Interior. About 2,000 people beleaguered the building’s entrance for 20 hours, leaving behind graffiti. Protest slogans included words to the effect that the government had demolished Dapu, but the people would tear down the government.
Lee said Wednesday some of the protesters could be guilty of damaging public property and of violating the Assembly and Parade Act. Evidence had already been collected and could be passed on to the judicial system, the minister said, denying he had political motives for the move.
Activists wrote online that they had been present at the sit-in, and therefore should qualify for investigation by the police. They called on “ten thousand (protesters) to surrender,” because they all had taken part in the protest.
Opposition Democratic Progressive Party lawmaker Wu Ping-jui accused the government of double standards, saying the ruling Kuomintang had advocated abolishing the Assembly and Parade Act when it was in the opposition, but now used the same law to repress students.
The decision to prosecute protesters amounted to a settling of accounts and would only increase public anger against the government, DPP legislators said. The Legislative Yuan had approved a resolution calling on the government to respect the result of negotiations with the Dapu residents, but Miaoli County went ahead and destroyed the homes to make way for a science and technology park, the lawmakers said.
The DPP said it would demand the police present a report about its excessive treatment of the protesters once the Legislative Yuan came out of its summer recess next month.
The KMT said everyone was equal before the law. If there was evidence that protesters damaged public property, they should be dealt with according to the law, but if there was no such evidence, there was no need to accuse innocent people, senior KMT legislator Lin Hung-chih said.
Miaoli County Magistrate Liu Cheng-hung, the KMT politician targeted for his allegedly rash behavior in the Dapu affair, attacked his critics Wednesday by accusing them of political motives. His opponents were using the demolition as an instrument to grab political power in the 2014 local elections, he said.
One of the key demands of the protesters was the amendment of the Land Expropriation Act to protect farmers against losing their homes and farms. Activists have also demanded the rebuilding of the four Dapu houses on their original location and filed charges against Liu over alleged corruption.