Inside Taiwan’s purgatory
The Taiwan Civil Government advocacy organization does not like to be called a Taiwan independence group and those in the TI movement do not like to consider TCG as allies. However, TCG has taken its campaign against the exiled Republic of China to the streets in a way that few other groups have.
Two pictures of police surveillance of TCG parades, one taken in New Taipei City and the other in Kaohsiung, show that police want their presence behind cameras known by marchers. But what is the crime? The parades are lawful, orderly demonstrations, conducted with permits, and do not constitute criminal activity in any way.
At the New Taipei City parade, surveillance was conducted by uniformed members of the Criminal Investigation Division who did not try to hide their snooping. In Kaohsiung, the video harassment was more aggressive with undercover, plain-clothes police on motor scooters armed with cameras and radio. CID agents also filmed the parade from the sidelines and traffic officers doubled as video spies with cameras mounted on top of their helmets.
Although leaders of Taiwan Civil Government have been accused by ROC prosecutors of political fraud for allegedly making false claims about TCG membership cards it is hard to see how a lawful downtown parade should be the subject of such intrusive police activity. Don’t the CID agents have crimes to solve, instead of watching a parade?
Speaking as someone who was there, and being filmed by police, I am very clear that the purpose of the videos was not legitimate law enforcement. The purpose was intimidation and harassment. Already CID agents have built dossiers on hundreds of TCG members, with interrogation after interrogation, in an effort to break the group and attempt to coerce members into saying they were victims of some sort of scam. Many of the TCG activists who were singled out for harassment by interrogators march in the group parades. By filming, at close range, the police can identify individuals for further harassment as well as attempting to dissuade them from marching.
Taiwan Civil Government is a group that the ROC has not been able to break and the public demonstrations and marches seem to have spurred membership growth despite the oppressive tactics of the Criminal Investigation Division. TCG parades are frequently conducted around the island and keep police video crews busy. The heavy-handed police presence has alerted TCG members that the battle for Taiwan’s future is underway and that they are the foot-soldiers of a peaceful revolution against Chinese control of Taiwan. The paraders march in the heat, they march in the rain, and they march in front of the police cameras.
Up next, purported scam victims say prosecutors are lying about them