I arrived in front of the Executive Yuan a little before 10am yesterday morning, thinking it would be just another press conference and demonstration by the residents of the Huaguang Community and their supporters. I decided to go and observe this particular event, because I was curious about the mock traditional Chinese wedding ceremony the students were planning, where Premier Jiang Yi-huah (江宜樺) marries big land developing and construction corporations using the Huaguang Community as dowry.
The protesters then attempted to enter the Executive Yuan to deliver their banner and plead to the real premier, who was having a cabinet meeting inside the building. Even then, this initial clash was fairly typical, with the protesters crowding together and pushing the shields of the police officers. A few protesters were grabbing onto the shields of the police but were quickly subdued. The students retreated back as they picked up the ghost money from the ground and threw them at the Executive Yuan. Many students now had their backs turned to the police, as they prepared to wrap up the demonstration and to clean the ghost money off the ground.
The videos of the clash and the police charging the students can be found here, here and here (the video here has subtitles).
As I examined the photographs I took after coming home, I discovered why yesterday’s protest was such a mess. I observed three groups of copsfrom different divisions - the Zhongzeng First Predict police (中正第一分局) from the district, the Special Police First Headquarters from the National Police Agency (保安警察第一總隊), who specialized in riot-control training and were the ones charging the students, and Taoyuan County police.
(All photograph by the author).
|The Taoyuan County police putting a protester on a chokehold|
|The Special Police squeezing a young student|
|Students picking up the ghost money and cleaning up after the protest.|