Students storm Taiwan's parliament house over free economic pilot zones bill

Students storm Taiwan's parliament house over free economic pilot zones bill
The protesters refused to leave the area; instead, they stayed in front of the main entrance of the Legislative Yuan.

TAIPEI, Taiwan - Over 30 student activists protesting against a draft bill on Free Economic Pilot Zones (FEPZs) rushed into the Legislative Yuan yesterday morning in an attempt to prevent lawmakers from deliberating the bill.

The Legislature's Economics Committee was yesterday scheduled to deliberate the FEPZs draft bill article by article between 9 a.m. and 12 p.m. Student activists and protesters from several civic groups, including the Restoration of Taiwan Social Justice (臺左維新), the Alliance of Referendum for Taiwan (公投護台灣聯盟) and the Democracy Tautin (民主鬥陣), climbed over the wall into the Legislature compound at around 8 a.m.

The student activists criticised the Kuomintang (KMT) caucus saying that the party is trying to pass the FEPZs bill while the nation's focus is on the visit of China's Taiwan Affairs Office Minister Zhang Zhijun (張志軍).

Student activist Hsu Li (許立), who is one of the students that stormed the Executive Yuan on the night of March 23, yesterday said that if the FEPZs bill is passed in the Legislature, "people will definitely take more aggressive action against it."

Clashes and physical altercations ignited between the protesters and police. Nearly 100 police officers evicted the activists around 9:30 a.m.

The protesters refused to leave the area; instead, they stayed in front of the main entrance of the Legislative Yuan.

The Restoration of Taiwan Social Justice claimed that they would stage a sit-in demonstration at the site until the Legislative Yuan's interim sessions ended.

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