A year before the Sunflower Movement, hundreds of protesters broke into the emergency meeting of public hearings regarding the cross-strait trade agreement in the Legislative Yuan and clashed with the police. One of the student protesters, Chen Wei-ting, and professor Tsai Ding-gui, also a member from Alliance of Referendum for Taiwan, have been respectively ruled 20-day and 40-day detentions.

Newtalk reports, it is believed that hundreds of people against the China trade pact were refused entering the building, so they tried to climb the walls of the Legislative Yuan and fought with the police.

The youths against the China trade pact included Chen Wei-ting, Lin Fei-fan, Wei Yang and professor Tsai were among those trying to climb over the walls.

Chen and Tsai were prosecuted on January 26 for Offenses of Obstructing an Officer in Discharge of Duties. The Taipei District Court ruled on August 12 that Chen needs to serve a 20-day detention and can convert imprisonment into a fine of NT$ 20,000 (approximately US$ 635.65). Tsai was ruled a 40-day detention and can convert imprisonment into a fine of NT$ 40,000 (approximately US$ 1273.31)

Liberty Times reports, the judge concluded Chen and Tsai had carried out violence towards the police according to video evidence provided by the police. In the video, Chen stands near the walls and fence of the Legislative Yuan with his hands and body pushing back and forth against the police’s shield.

Tsai pushes the police officers that are holding shields and grabs them from the police to give the shields to the crowd.

Chen says people have the right to attend the public hearings held by the Legislative Yuan, yet the police blocked the main gate and denied citizens entrance of the building. He will discuss with his lawyer about appealing.

Qiu Xien-zhi, candidate of legislator of the New Power Party and Chen’s lawyer says, Chen was standing on the walls of the Legislative Yuan and holding tight to the police’s shield in fear of falling down. There was no threatening or violent behavior. The judge’s rule was unbelievable and they will definitely appeal.

UDN reports, according to the judge’s ruling, Chen and Tsai do have the right to express political speech regarding the China trade pact, yet if they want to win the support of the public, they should express their feelings in a more proper way. Taking that their motivation was based on public interest, and that a student and a professor won’t do any harm, the court only ruled them detentions.

NOWnews reports, Chen and Tsai will not accept the court’s decision and will keep appealing. Chen says this case is outrageous because it happened two years ago and they didn’t know they were also prosecuted for this case until they were summoned by the court because of the 318 student movement.

Chen says Lin and Wei were also sent to the police but not found in the video evidence. The prosecutors thus withdrew their cases, leading to people suspecting if there were political reasons behind the prosecutions.

Translated by June
Edited by Olivia Yang