Student activist admits to storming Taiwan's parliament building

Student activist admits to storming Taiwan's parliament building
Student leader of Taiwan's "Sunflower Movement" Lin Fei-fan (R) arrives at the Taipei District court March 25, 2015. Anti-China activists told the court that their weeks-long protest campaign last year saved the island from further economic colonisation by Beijing, in defence statements given at the start of their trial on Wednesday. The protests, dubbed the "Sunflower Movement", marked the largest display of anti-China sentiment seen in Taiwan for years and followed nearly a decade of rapprochement between the two historical foes.

TAIPEI, Taiwan - Student activist leader Lin Fei-fan yesterday announced that, contrary to previous claims, he had participated in the storming and occupation of the Executive Yuan during the Sunflower Movement last year.

The Taiwan Taipei District Court yesterday began the first trial of the parliament siege that started on March 18, 2014, when student activists occupied the Legislative Yuan over a controversial trade pact with China for some three weeks.

Among the defendants were Lin and his fellow student activist leader Chen Wei-ting.

All claimed that they had started the civil disobedience movement to protest against the government's violation of the constitution, and the inactive nature of the Legislature.

The Ma administration should be held responsible, and the prosecutors should not be indicting protesters who were carrying out their rights to resist.

Lin said he had actively participated in the storming of the Executive Yuan on March 23, and that the indictment papers "missed listing his name."

The student activist allegedly said for the prosecution and the presiding judge to "do what they please."

Lin claimed that the occupation of the Legislative Yuan was highly appropriate, and that history would eventually prove them (the protesters) innocent.

"If the judge says we are guilty, we will be continuing our movements," Lin was reported to have said in court.

As many as 119 people were indicted by the prosecution over the March 18 Legislature occupation, the March 23 Executive Yuan siege, and the movement that surrounded the Taipei City Police Department's Zhongzeng First Precinct on April 11.

The case will be in court for two days.

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