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Anti-nuke protesters look north to Zhongxiao W Road
Taiwan News, Staff Writer
2014-04-27 05:19 PM
Taipei police took steps Sunday in anticipation of reports that anti-nuclear protesters planned to move north to the Taipei Station area and attempt to block traffic on Zhongxiao West Road, a major traffic artery that runs east and west in front of the station. An additional force of about 2000 police officers has been dispatched to the vicinity of Taipei Station while an protest leaders talked about taking an estimated 30,000 to 50,000 protesters from Ketagalan Boulevard in front of the Presidential Building and marching north to the Taipei Station area.

Police said they plan to give one traffic lane over to the protesters if necessary, with further action to be decided on as the situation develops. If there are any outbreaks of violence or the protesters deliberately attempt to paralyze traffic in the Taipei Station area, police will first try to persuade the crowd to relocate to parking areas around the station, otherwise they say they will have no choice but to remove the demonstrators by force.

Hourly traffic flow on Zhongxiao West Road is usually more than 3,000 vehicles during rush periods, and many local buses disgorge and pick up passengers in front of the station. The strategy of marching from Ketagalan Boulevard north along Gongyuan Road and Chongqing South Road to the Taipei Station area to stage a sit-in is a real threat to wreak havoc on traffic in the central Taipei area if the protesters do relocate to the roadway in front of Taipei Station and their stay extends into the traffic rush period Monday morning.

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