An “Occupy Taipei” protest at one of the city’s landmark buildings ended peacefully Saturday, with organizers announcing that a similar event will take place next month in front of the Presidential Office — the country’s political nerve center.
Although only about 500 people took part in Saturday’s protest at the Taipei 101 tower, the organizers said the turnout was not the only yardstick by which to gauge the success of the event.
“What matters is we have made it,” said Chu Wei-li, chief executive of the National Federation of Independent Trade Unions. “It’s encouraging that we managed to gather hundreds of people to lay siege around Taipei 101.”
Chu said he hopes the anti-capitalism movement will continue and that major local labor right advocacy groups will launch a similar protest called “Occupy Ketagalan Boulevard” in front of the Presidential Office in downtown Taipei on Nov. 12.
Saturday’s protest started at 1 p.m. with protesters encircling Taipei 101, one of the world’s tallest buildings which they described as a symbol of business elites who are exploiting the majority of people.
The demonstrators, composed of local protesters and foreign expatriates, held placards and chanted slogans, echoing the “Occupy Wall Street” demonstration that has been taking place in the United States in recent weeks against social and economic inequality and corporate greed.
Some protesters managed to enter the Taipei 101 shopping mall to stage a sit-in. The crowd gradually left the scene at around 3 p.m. The few activists who remained at the site said they planned to stay outside the building overnight to highlight their appeal for social justice and economic equality.
Zoi Wei and Sofia Wu