Taiwanese students to continue protest during weekend

The sit-in protesters are calling on a thousand students from all over the country to gather at Liberty Square in Taipei today

Students demanding changes to the Parade and Assembly Law said yesterday they would expand their protests during the weekend, while the Legislative Yuan moved forward a relevant amendment proposal made by the opposition Democratic Progressive Party.
Students have held a sit-in protest in downtown Taipei since Nov. 6 to demand changes in the law, most notably the abolition of the requirement to ask permission from the police before organizing a protest. The students said registering for a demonstration should be enough.
The sit-in protesters said were calling on a thousand students from all over the country to gather at Liberty Square today.
The number of protesters dropped to fewer than hundred over the past week because of midterm exams and cold weather.
Passersby have sometimes expressed their support or disapproval of their actions, but the protest movement, known as the “Wild Strawberries,” has been careful to keep its distance from politicians in order to preserve its neutral and impartial image.
The students are also demanding apologies from President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) and from Premier Liu Chao-shiuan (劉兆玄) and the resignations of national police chief Wang Cho-chiun (王卓鈞) and National Security Bureau (國安局) chief Tsai Chao-ming (蔡朝明) for alleged police brutality during the visit of Chinese negotiator Chen Yunlin last week.
While the apologies and resignations are unlikely to be realized, the DPP said yesterday its proposal to amend the Parade and Assembly Law conformed to the student's demands. The legislature yesterday agreed to move the amendment plan for discussion to the Interior Affairs Committee.
The president, who included a similar amendment in his election campaign platform, has said the problem is not the method of applying for a protest, but the threat of violence at the protests. His Kuomintang proposed to hold a public hearing at which student representatives would be able to voice their opinions.