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Taipei mayor condemns road occupation
Central News Agency
2014-04-29 10:59 PM
Taipei, April 29 (CNA) Taipei Mayor Hau Lung-bin on Tuesday cautioned that he would consider forceful measures to remove protesters if they continue to illegally occupy a busy downtown intersection in a show of opposition to Taiwan's fourth nuclear power plant. The protesters moved to the intersection of Linsen S. Rd. and Zhongxiao E. Rd. for a sit-in around 6 p.m., where their numbers swelled to over 800 before they dispersed around 7:20 p.m. The move during rush hour is estimated to have affected 220,000 passengers as bus service on 43 lines was rerouted or canceled to avoid the congestion, according to the municipal government. Hau said at a press conference that the occupation of the roads was a challenge to public authority and damaged the quality of living for Taipei citizens. Protests over the past month have occupied public spaces and government buildings, threatening livelihood and freedom, he said, blasting them for what he called behavior that "got out of control" by claiming they represent public opinion. The mayor said the Taipei municipal government will use any necessary means to guarantee an orderly flow of traffic and an adequate standard of living in the city. Noting that it has been the same group of protesters holding illegal rallies, he said he would consider employing tougher measures as allowed under the law. After Hau's remarks ended around 8:10 p.m., the municipal government's 1999 Citizen Hotline received 157 phone calls from 8:15 to 8:55 supporting Hau's strong-worded stance, the city government said. The Sunday night protest on the same road brought 210 calls to the hotline between 6 p.m. and 8 p.m., 49 of which were complaints about traffic jams and 161 of which were calls for the government to take action, according to the city government. (By Huang Li-yun and Evelyn Kao)
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