Taiwan police brace for rival marches in Kaohsiung

Kaohsiung Taiwan police to place officers in every MRT carriage to prevent clashes between participants

Kaohsiung police officers to be stationed in MRT carriages on Dec. 21. (Facebook photo)

Kaohsiung police officers to be stationed in MRT carriages on Dec. 21. (Facebook photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — To minimize conflicts between supporters and opponents of Kuomintang (KMT) presidential candidate Han Kuo-yu (韓國瑜) during rival marches in Kaohsiung on Saturday (Dec. 21), the southern Taiwan city's police force is planning to station approximately 3,200 officers around the city, including two in every MRT carriage.

After the organization Wecare Kaohsiung (Wecare高雄) announced that it had organized the Dec. 21 march to demand Han's removal as mayor, Han and his team said that they would hold their own march on the same day and claimed that it would see twice as many attendees as the "1221 Wecare Taiwan Parade."

The sensitivity and confrontational nature of the marches have raised concerns about the safety of participants. The Kaohsiung City Police Department on Monday morning (Dec. 16) discussed the safety precautions and procedures being planned to prevent the two parades from running into each other, reported Liberty Times.

Police said that two armed officers will be stationed in each of the city's 111 MRT carriages and that undercover police would also be distributed across the city. They called for participants in the opposing parades to remain calm and rational and urged the organizers to take responsibility for any violence that breaks out.