|A protester is taken away by police on April 29|
At the drop of a word by a pugnacious superintendent, the young protesters were suddenly handcuffed and brusquely forced to the ground by police officers before being dragged away, some screaming in pain, others at the brutality with which their peaceful sit-in had been broken up.
The dozens of activists, many of them veterans of other campaigns in recent months, were in Yuanli Township (苑裡), Miaoli County, to support local residents who oppose a controversial wind turbine construction project that has been forced upon them by an intransigent county government. Amid the commotion, the superintendent, who earlier had been caught on film saying he “doesn’t understand the law,” warned the protesters they could be charged under articles 304 — causing, by violence or threats, another person to do something they have no obligation to do, or preventing another person from doing something that they have the right to do — and 306 — unlawfully entering a dwelling or structure of another person, the adjacent or surrounding grounds, or a vessel belonging to another — of the Criminal Code. Articles 304 and 306 carry a maximum of three years and one year imprisonment respectively.
My unsigned editorial, published today in the Taipei Times, continues here.