TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — As tensions heat up before Saturday's election (Jan. 11), videos have surfaced showing pro-China unification supporters assaulting a Taiwanese actor.
Multiple videos appeared on Facebook on Sunday (Jan. 5) showing Chinese Unity Promotion Party (CUPP, 統促黨) members verbally and physically assaulting 42-year-old Taiwanese actor Lawerence Ko (柯宇綸). In the videos, Ko can be seen surrounded by CUPP members clad in blue vests as some members of the group kick and punch him.
In a Facebook post, Ko said that the incident started when he flipped the middle finger at a truck carrying CUPP members. He said that some of the passengers in the truck then repeated the obscene gesture back at him.
Ko said that the CUPP members then jumped out of the truck and surrounded him. He claimed that he was then pinned behind his bike and was unable to flee the scene as a verbal altercation between him and the CUPP supporters escalated.
Ko said some of the assailants claimed that he had bumped into them with his bicycle and punched him "six or seven times." He said he then had no choice but to call the police to rescue him from the assault.
Once at the police station, the two sides filed reports, but Ko said he decided he would not press charges. After cooler heads prevailed, Ko said the two parties shook hands and left the police station peacefully.
In his post, Ko wrote, "This is a civilized society where we use elections to solve disputes. We should not use violence to express our disagreements" Ko then predicted that more such incidents could occur in the coming days as tensions rise before the elections: "The closer we get to election day in the next few days, the more sensitive we will be. I hope that everyone will pay attention to their personal safety and cast their sacred votes as well."
(Screenshot from Facebook user 朱孟承)