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Lesheng supporters protest at city government
Taiwan News, Staff Writer
2014-05-08 07:45 PM
TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – Protesters against the tearing down of the Lesheng Sanatorium planned to spend Thursday night outside the Taipei City Government after a 17-kilometer march.

The former leprosy colony in Hsinchuang, New Taipei City, established by the Japanese colonial authorities in the 1930s, has been under threat from a nearby Taipei Mass Rapid Transit depot for years.

About 50 members of a student alliance supporting the residents walked the 17 kilometers from the sanatorium to the Taipei City Government Thursday to express their concern that more MRT works are damaging historic buildings still left.

After the construction of the depot was announced in the 1990s, residents of the sanatorium refused to leave and rejected a forced move into a nearby newly built hospital building.

In 2007, an agreement was reached to preserve part of the green campus-like former leprosy colony, but fears that the frequency of trains arriving and leaving the depot was causing more damage to the buildings led to a return of the protests.

The residents were all in their 80s now and no longer had the strength to protest, the student marchers said. The march reportedly took from 2 p.m. until 8 p.m., with a short break at Fu Jen Catholic University where local student activists joined in.

The latest Lesheng protest follows the March 18-April 10 occupation of the Legislative Yuan by students protesting against the trade-in-services pact with China and the hunger strike of former Democratic Progressive Party Chairman Lin Yi-hsiung against the fourth nuclear plant.

One of the protesters present at Thursday’s Lesheng event was Hung Chung-yen, a student involved in last month’s one-night siege of the Zhongzheng First Precinct police station.

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