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    Posted April 14, 2014 by
    Taipei, Taiwan
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    Protesters occupy Taiwan legislature

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    Assembly and Parade Act in Taiwan: Lawful Management or Awful Control?

    Except for the Service Trade Agreement with China, another critical issue about the Assembly and Parade Act has been discussed in Taiwan since last week.

    After protesters left Taiwan legislature and few hours later, Fang Yangning, the chief officer of Zhongzheng first precinct of Taiwan police station, decided to drive out any protesters still wandering around the legislature.

    Meanwhile, another controversial decision was made with this drive out action: Fang managed to repeal a legal assembly application at the square outside Taiwan legislature, and permanently blacklists the applicant.

    The repealed application exists long ago, before the occupation protest action starts. The applicant is the leader of a politic organization, Alliance For Referendum of Taiwan, which asks for a revision of Referendum Law in Taiwan after the law was criticized as 'Birdcage'.

    Since the current Referendum Law was made, they had been legally applied assembly rights at the same location for over the past 1,988 days, until the last week.

    They were accused by Fang of providing assistance to occupation protesters, therefore former application shall be appealed and rejected ever after according to articles of the Assembly and Parade Act.

    However, the applicant also Taiwanese citizens disagree with this decision. April 11th, one day after occupation action ends, over thousands of protesters gathered and besieged Zhongzheng first precinct.

    Protesters shouts at Fang, the chief officer to apologize and retract the decision. Although Fang refused once, he finally retracted his word and tried to resign.

    In recent decades, many protest actions relate to the controversy of Assembly and Parade Act. For instance, in Nov. 2008, protesters gathered in the front of Taiwan Executive Yuan to fight against a prior restriction on assembly by the act for an official visitor from China.

    The controversy of this act comes from its application rules. The administration has authority to permit, or refuse assembly applications, however this is often abused by government to make an unfair restriction for their own interests protection.

    For opposition parties, this act is an awful control from their opponents to protest actions. On the other hand, for the ruling party, this act is considered as a lawful management tool to maintain political order.

    Instead of the current approval system, notification system seems to be more appropriate for a political heat environment like Taiwan.

    March 21st, 3 days later from the occupation protest action erupts, the Supreme Court in Taiwan made a constitutional interpretation. In this interpretation No. 718, the approval rules of Assembly and Parade Act has been declared as violation of the Constitution, since unexpected and urgent assembly is restricted.
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