- Posted March 18, 2014 by
This iReport is part of an assignment:
Protesters occupy Taiwan legislature
- Orderly disorder - scenes in occupy Parliament
- Parliament occupation in 19th hour, President vows "trade pact will pass"
- Timeline of events leading up to the protest and occupation of Taiwanese Parliament (台灣民主危機：黑箱服貿30秒強行闖關始末)
- Democracy in crisis: Taiwan police and protestors in tense standoff
- Taiwanese students occupy Legislative Yuan in opposition to trade agreement (反服貿學生占領立法院)
The thirty-second review and the Occupation of the Taiwan Legislative Yuan (三十秒審完服貿)
Taiwanese protestors, mainly students, have occupied the country's Legislative Yuan (Taiwanese Congress) in protest of the procedural shenanigans surrounding the Cross-Strait Service Trade Agreement (CSSTA). The protestors expressed their disgust with President Ma Ying-jeou and his government in secretly signing the CSSTA with China without sufficient public review, forcing the CSSTA through committee and onto the floor of the Legislature, where it is expected to pass in the KMT-dominated Legislature.
The proverbial straw that broke the camel's back was the "thirty-second review" of the CSSTA in committee, forced by Legislator Zhang Ching-zhong (張慶忠) (KMT).
Legislator Zhang reportedly disrupted the first review committee, which was dominated by the opposition DPP, by stealing microphones and speaker rosters, and forced the first committee to disband without any substantive review of the pact taking place.
On March 17, in a second committee, now dominated by the majority party KMT, Legislator Zhang faced similar disruption tactics being used against him. He was unable to continue initially, but he came out of recess carrying several microphones on his person. The opposition legislators were unable to reach him nor switch off all the microphones he carried, so Zhang was able to announce in a corner, shielded by other legislators of his party, "Quorum reached with 52 attendees, CSSTA has been under review for more than three months thus is now duly passed through committee and sent to Legislature for record. Meeting adjourned."
This farcical thirty-second review and committee approval of a highly controversial, and according to some, highly damaging, trade pact with China triggered widespread protests. Many civic organizations immediately organized a sit-in outside the Legislative Yuan in protest, and the sit-in became an occupation when at around 9:30 pm the protestors broke into the Legislative Yuan's main assembly hall and barricaded themselves inside.