TAIPEI, Taiwan - The occupation of the Legislative Yuan drew to an end yesterday as student-led activists filed out of the Legislature and passed out sunflowers to the cheering crowds, vowing to spread the movement throughout Taiwan.
Three days after their announcement that they would end their occupation of the Legislature, students were seen cleaning and making repairs around the Assembly Hall. Several volunteer repairmen assisted the students in restoring the furniture.
Before leaving the Assembly Hall at 6:00pm, the student protesters announced that their departure did not mean that they were giving up on their beliefs and their demands of the government, saying that the demonstrations against the Cross-Strait Trade in Services Agreement would spread throughout Taiwan.
Students read out people's opinions gathered from citizen's forums held on April 5, pointing out that over 1,000 people had participated in a judgment of the supervisory law slated to be passed to strengthen oversight of cross-strait pacts.
Divided into 51 groups, the participants and the activist leaders sorted the opinions into six major demands of cross-strait agreements: that the scale of citizen participation should be elevated; conference information should be transparent to all; national security, human rights values and disadvantaged groups should be defended; the Legislature should be granted actual power to deliberate the specifics of pacts; pre-signing talks should be equal on both sides and Taiwan's sovereign rights should be defended.
The students also replaced the Legislature's gavel on Speaker Wang Jin-pyng's regular seat, despite rumours that the protesters had lost it. "The Assembly Hall is now returned to the 'people's Legislature,'" student representatives announced.