TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — A protest rally led by a former Taiwanese gang leader and pro-China figure on Friday (June 12) to show support for the Black Lives Matter movement was cut short by police, as they said he did not have the proper permits.
Chinese Unity Promotion Party (CUPP, 統促黨) head Chang An-le (張安樂), aka the "White Wolf," on his Facebook page on Monday (June 8) wrote: "In order to protest against the serious violation of human rights and provoking of ethnic antagonism by the U.S. government, the Chinese Unity Promotion Party will issue a solemn statement. We sincerely invite people with lofty ideals to participate in the grand event and join us in enforcing justice on behalf of heaven."
However, members of the Facebook group "辣台派挺蔡英文" condemned Chang's rally as a ploy by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) to take advantage of racial tensions in the U.S.
At 9:30 a.m. on Friday morning, Chang and his pack of blue-vested followers gathered at a street corner diagonally across from the new American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) in Taipei City's Neihu District. Just as Chang and his pack members were ready to start their rally at 10 a.m., they found themselves surrounded by 150 police officers.
At the scene, participants could be heard chanting "human rights are priceless," hoisting banners that showed images of George Floyd and the words "Black Lives Matter" and another sign saying, "Okinawan Lives Matter." People dressed in the regalia of Taiwan's indigenous tribes could be seen standing behind posters listing "political prisoners" who have been imprisoned in the U.S. since the 1970s.
Chang appeared at the scene at 10:05 a.m. decked out in an all-black Zhongshan suit. However, just as he was beginning to start his speech, police interrupted him and held up a sign informing him that he was engaging in an illegal assembly and that this was his first warning to disperse.
Chang An-le (Facebook, CUPP photo)
Shrugging off the police warning, Chang continued with his speech, saying that out of the 1,000 civilians shot by police in the U.S. each year, 30 percent are black males, yet they only comprise 6 percent of the population. He pointed out the U.S. has only 5 percent of the world's population but 25 percent of the world's incarcerated individuals.
Chang also noted that while African Americans make up 12 percent of the population of the U.S., black American men comprise 45 percent of the prison population. In addition, Chang said the U.S. has "political prisoners" such as American indigenous rights activist Leonard Peltier, and former Black Panther Party member Sundiata Acoli, both of whom have been imprisoned for over 40 years.
The former gangster said the U.S. preaches about human rights but "only talks about others and forgets itself." Citing the Native Americans as an example, Chang said, "How does the United States reward Indians on Thanksgiving? Massacre and encroachment on the land — a lot of land in the United States was stolen."
He then called on the U.S. to respect the rights and interests of the people of the Ryukyu Islands. He said the U.S. has set up a base on Ryukyu (Okinawa) to deal with China but that "If war erupts between China and the U.S., I don't know how many innocent Ryukyu people will be killed in a relentless fiery sea of missiles."
Chang gives speech. (Facebook, Chang An-le photo)
Police then waved a sign in front of him saying it was his second warning to disperse. Unlike the previous warning, the wording of the date on the sign did not include the words "Republic of China." Livid, Chang howled, "If you are not Republic of China police, I will not listen to you. If you are not the Republic of China police, why should I listen?"
He then threatened to report the police for treason and admonished them to "go back and look in the mirror." He then growled, "You don't dare to admit you are a citizen of the Republic of China. What gives you the right to stand here?"
Chang then issued one parting shot: "You didn't swear to uphold the Constitution? Scum," before turning tail and beating a hasty retreat. Chang and his troupe dismantled their banners and dispersed at 10:30 a.m.
The CUPP is a pro-Chinese Communist Party (CCP) organization in Taiwan, and its mission is to promote the CCP and Taiwan's unification with China. The party actively promotes the "one country, two systems" framework and can often be seen waving the flag of communist China, causing many public disturbances over the years with its aggressive protesting tactics.
One of the more memorable incidents was when Chang brought a coffin to the Legislative Yuan to protest what he perceived to be Premier Su Tseng-chang's (蘇貞昌) willingness to fight to the last man in a war with China. However, his political stunt went awry during a scuffle with police when he accidentally fell into the coffin.