Wednesday, March 26, 2014

The Sunflower Movement in Taiwan

Sunflower Student Movement

Student protests in Taipei over a controversial trade accord between China and 
Taiwan turned suddenly violent Sunday night. Students stormed the Executive 
Yuan, and several hours later, were evicted by riot police armed with water 
cannons. Our Observer, who joined in the protests, says that students are 
demanding increased government transparency.
The standoff began when the governing party, the Kuomintang or KMT, 
attempted to skip normal legislative protocol to hammer through a 
controversial trade agreement opening the small nation’s economy 
to China. Hundreds of students, angered by the opaque nature of 
the decision-making, took to the streets. Starting on March 18, they occupied
the Legislative Yuan, the national parliament building in Taipei.
Several days into the protests, neither the students nor President Ma Ying-Jeou
 showed signs of backing down. At a press conference Saturday, the president 
refused to reconsider the pact or to hold direct talks with the students. A meeting 
between Prime Minister Jiang Yi-huah and Lin Fei-fan, a leader of the so-called 
“Sunflower Student Movement,” was also unsuccessful.
Frustrated by the lack of recognition from the government, a group of students 
broke off from those at the legislative sit-in and stormed the Executive Yuan 
For the first time since the protests began, the government called in riot police, 
who responded with force, using water cannons and batons. Since then, 
social media has buzzed with tweets, Facebook posts, photos and videos 
showing police trying to forcibly remove students from their sit-in

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