Taiwan police used water cannons in the early hours of Monday to disperse several hundred protestors who were demanding the scrapping of a new nuclear power plant project in the island.
Up to 3,000 police personnel were called to the scene in Taipei, and by 7am all protestors were removed from the Chung-Hsiao West Road in the city, media reports said. At least 37 demonstrators were said to have been injured and six were arrested.
The Alliance of Referendum for Taiwan issued a statement condemning the use of force by the police. Lin Fei-fan and Chen Wei-ting, both leaders of the Sunflower Student Movement, were among those arrested.
In a survey conducted by Taiwan’s CommonWealth Magazine, 58.7 percent of respondents were in favor of halting the construction of the nuclear power station in question, while 69.7 percent felt the Taiwanese government is incapable of handling nuclear waste.
A nuclear concern group said it will continue its sit-in on Ketagalan Boulevard until Thursday, to monitor the implementation of an order by the Executive Yuan, Taiwan’s cabinet, to suspend the construction work, according to a Metro Daily report.
Sunflower Student Movement is a protest movement driven by a coalition of students and civic groups from March 18, 2014, in the Legislative Yuan and Executive Yuan of Taiwan. The Legislative Yuan refers to Taiwan’s parliament.
The activists had staged rallies to express their opposition to a cross-strait service trade agreement, which they fear would help China gain undue economic influence over Taiwan.
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