Hundreds of supporters shower precinct chief with flowers
Central News Agency
2014-04-12 10:56 PM
Taipei, April 12 (CNA) More than 500 people calling themselves the "White Justice Social Alliance" sent carnations to police officers and Fang Yang-ning, the chief of Zhongzheng First Precinct in Taipei, on Saturday after protesters besieged the precinct a night earlier to demand his resignation. Shouting the slogans of "Go police, go Fan Yang-ning," the supporters called on the "silent majority" to stand up and take part in a Sunday evening rally at National Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall to show support for Taiwan's democracy and law enforcement officers. Although Fang accepted the flowers outside the police building with a smile on his face, he did not make any comments and returned inside the precinct after just a minute. The group also staged a sit-in in front of the police station, vowing to protect Fang after Hung Chung-yen, a National Taiwan University student who led the protest against the police chief the previous night, was reportedly planning to head to the precinct to face Fang's supporters. Hung never did show up. Fang drew plenty of other messages of support and sympathy, with a video clip and a Facebook page set up in support of the police collecting over 211,000 "likes" as of 10:55 p.m. Saturday. Around 74 percent of people who called the Citizen Hotline 1999 said they commended the police for their role in recent weeks after student-led protesters began a movement that occupied Taiwan's Legislature on March 18. Among 1,124 calls to the hotline since Friday morning, 517 people said they supported Fang and disagreed with protester demands for Fang to resign, according to the city's Research, Development and Evaluation Commission. Some 164 people, however, urged Taipei Mayor Mayor Hau Lung-bin to brief the public on the case, and 13 callers expressed their disapproval of the police's move to forcibly disperse supporters of the Alliance of Referendum for Taiwan from outside the Legislative Yuan after the student-led movement ended Thursday. The commission said the other 430 calls were from citizens who were simply worried about the incident. Zhongzheng First Precinct, which is located near the Legislative Yuan, and Fang in particular became targets of anger among protesters for breaking up demonstrations in recent weeks. When some of the protesters broke into the Executive Yuan compound on March 23, it was Fang who directed efforts to drive the protesters out. Opposition groups alleged that the police used excessive force in removing protesters from the scene. On Saturday, around 30 members of the alliance staged another sit-in demonstration outside the Legislative Yuan, demanding the resignations of Fang and President Ma Ying-jeou. (By Huang Li-yun, Liu Chien-pang and Maia Huang)
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