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Police not to forcibly disperse remaining protesters
Central News Agency
2014-04-11 02:27 AM
Taipei, April 11 (CNA) Police said early Friday morning that they will not take actions to forcibly disperse the around 400 protesters who refused to leave the Legislative square after the end of 24-day-long occupation of the main legislative chamber. "We will only try to persuade the demonstrators to leave," said Fang Yang-ning, the head of the Zhong Zheng First Branch of the Taipei City Police Department. "We are not riot police, and there is no timetable for us to forcibly disperse the remaining protesters," said Fang, who served as the commander the around 1,000 police at the scene. Police had said earlier said that those who are unwilling to leave by 1:00 a.m. will be dispersed. Protesters, mostly students opposed to a service trade deal with China, had occupied the main chamber of the Legislature since March 18. The unprecedented occupation of the legislative chamber by student-led protesters since March 18 evening drew to an end Thursday evening with protesters filing out of the Legislature after announcing that they were "returning the gavel to the Legislature of the people." They were greeted by tens of thousands at an ongoing rally outside the Legislature compound. The festive rally ended at 8:30 p.m., about half an hour ahead of schedule, following a rendition of "Island's Sunrise," the theme song of their "Sunflower Movement", as they waved cell phones in the air, flashlights lit. Most of the rally-goers dispersed as called for by the organizers, except for the small group of people, who insisted on staying in the legislative square to show their determination "to safeguard Taiwan." Tsai Ting-kuei, a staunch pro-Taiwan independence activist and a member of the Taiwan Association of University Professors, said they would not leave the square outside the Legislative Yuan because it belongs to the people. (By C. B. Liu, Flor Wang & Bear Lee)
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