- Posted March 22, 2014 by
This iReport is part of an assignment:
Protesters occupy Taiwan legislature
Jiang Yi-huah Speaks with Protesters Outside Taiwan's Legislature
Jiang Yi-huah arrived outside of Taiwan's legislature this afternoon and spoke with protesters on a Saturday which saw a massive turn out. His security detail slowly parted the chanting crowd leading to the legislature's gates where he spoke via microphone at street level. Chanting was constant during his arrival but the crowd listened and calls for quiet echoed through the masses while he talked. Protesters were left feeling unsatisfied with his answers or his choice to ignore questions with absolute silence. He left as the crowd resumed chanting while security shielded his escape down a protected alley which was nearby.
Protesters announced soon after Mr. Jiang's departure that they would continue protesting until Taiwan's President Ma Ying-jeou comes to the legislature to address the issue himself. Latest reports say that President Ma is in the south attending a previously scheduled event and his return before Monday seems unlikely.
The only physical confrontation to occur during Mr. Jiang's visit happened when his security detail carved out a space for him to speak in the crowd, and then again during his departure. Shoving began outside a 7-11 when he returned to address a person who seemingly shouted something from the crowd. As he came back to the street - still smiling despite massive protests and what appeared to be a hasty and well secured exit from the center of the crowd - the crowd heated up and shouted for his resignation, which prompted him to leave.
After his departure a team of young Taiwanese protesters was allowed to pass the security gate and follow him down the alley. Meanwhile, back on the streets, organizers maintained calm and order, shouting not to push or panic despite the constant press of humanity against the barricade.
This appearance by a government official promises to fuel broader and growing support for the protests, especially after Mr. Jiang's highly charged performance which featured moments of pure silence when he refused to answer questions from protest leaders.
Organizers seemed aware of public fears that the protest could turn violent, and they worked to ensure that peace quickly settled on those surrounding the legislature following Mr. Jiang's departure, and both the police and protesters handled the charged situation well by showing restraint and respect for each other.