Police evict activists from Taiwan's Executive Yuan

Police evict activists from Taiwan's Executive Yuan
Student protesters move barricades at the Executive Yuan in Taipei early on March 24, 2014, during a protest following Taiwan President Ma Ying-jeou's refusal to scrap a contentious trade agreement with China. Dozens of people were detained in Taipei after violent clashes erupted between police and protesters.

Riot police began evicting protesters from the Executive Yuan building last night after it was occupied in protest of Premier Jiang Yi-huah (江宜樺) and President Ma Ying-jeou's (馬英九) "off-the-point" responses to the student activists' demands.

At roughly 8pm yesterday, a large group of students ambushed the Executive Yuan, which is merely a short walk away from the Legislative Yuan - the headquarters of the ongoing "Sunflower Movement." The protesters rammed through the barbed-wire barricades surrounding the Executive Yuan and clambered over the walls, making a dash for the main building as policemen put up a fight to keep them out.

As a fierce struggle ensued, the students were heard chanting in unison for fellow protesters to "sit down! sit down!" while others made their way into the building from a back entrance.

According to local media outlets, at least four or five students were scratched from climbing over the barricades, and eight rushed to nearby National Taiwan University Hospital, including one electrical injury case who had allegedly received a shock when breaking into the generator room.

Some of the protesters broke windows at the back of the building and climbed through them to the second floor with the help of a ladder. Protesters have successfully broken into the premier's office.

A Voluntary Act: Student Activists

After the student movement group "Black Island Nation Youth Front" (黑色島國青年陣線) forwarded a press release telling of the students' next actions, the group stated afterwards that it was simply charged with relaying the news and that the students had acted of their own volition.

The press release announced that the students had decided to act when the government's executive power, headed by Ma, had consented only to review the Cross-Strait Trade in Services Agreement clause-by-clause but remained insistent that the pact was not to be withdrawn, contrary to the student's demands.

The students will also be calling for Ma and Jiang to take full responsibility for their actions; they demand that the president apologise and the premier resign.


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