Anti-nuclear activists protest outside Legislative Yuan
Taiwan News, Staff Writer
2014-04-22 05:14 PM
TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – As former Democratic Progressive Party Chairman Lin Yi-hsiung began his hunger strike against the fourth nuclear plant Tuesday, sympathizers led by the Taiwan Referendum Association protested outside the Legislative Yuan.

If the government did not respond to Lin’s action Thursday at the latest, anti-nuclear activists said they would launch a massive protest to besiege the Presidential Office Building Saturday.

When the former opposition leader arrived at his former home to launch the hunger strike at 10 a.m. Tuesday, TRA leader Tsay Ting-kuey and about 50 supporters convened in front of the Legislature, where the group had been active for years to promote the introduction of a new referendum law.

The protesters started a walk and almost managed to enter the legislative compound before halting for a sit-in protest. More than 370 police officers were on hand to prevent a repeat of the March 18-April 10 occupation of the Legislative Yuan by students, reports said.

After staying in the same place for three hours, the protesters were overpowered by police and carried outside the barbed wire, where they continued the sit-in after scuffles and jostling with officers, reports said.

In Chiayi City, a handful of nuclear activists wearing a farmers’ straw hat similar to Lin’s walked around the center beginning at the railway station. A spokeswoman for the event drew a parallel between the protests against the fourth nuclear plant and the recent occupation of the Legislative Yuan by opponents of the trade-in-services pact with China. In both cases, opinion polls showed that more than 60 percent of the public were opposed, but the government nevertheless disregarded those opinions and wanted to force the nuclear project and the trade accord through, the activist said.

She added that the protest walk would be repeated four days in a row, with public forums taking place at two night markets and on the plaza in front of the city government building. The activists were also planning to promote Saturday’s rally outside the Presidential Office Building by selling bus or train tickets to Taipei, reports said.

In Yilan County, protesters including many children held an anti-nuclear sit-in protest for five minutes to mark Earth Day.

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