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Oct 24, 2008

Liberty Times confirms protest buffer zones

This is not good.

Confirming yesterday's UDN leak, today's Liberty Times confirms that the KMT has in fact booked long term rights to assemble at several places Chen Yunlin is likely to visit, as well as in front of the Presidential Palace.

So apparently, once the government knew the timing of the visit, it told the party first, which then had the Taipei party unit book the protest rights, to which the KMT-run city government readily agreed. Then the dates of Chen's visit were publicly announced. The whole thing was done in such a fashion as to make DPP protests near Chen Yunlin sites impossible to book. (Let's say it together everyone: 黨國不分, or probably more accurately, 黨國有分,黨大於國).

Pan Chia-sheng, chair of the Taipei City branch of the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT), said that the the hope of the people is to improve the economy. Therefore the Taipei City KMT branch booked long term use of Ketagalan Boulevard in order to hold a low key event with the themes of "economic improvement, solidarity, respect for law." The objective is to let the voice of the people be heard, and Pan hopes that everyone will cease confrontational protests.

This will not go well. As I said, instead of just having Taipei City reject any protest applications for that period to make Green protests illegal and therefore easy to break up, the KMT is setting up a situation that will invite confrontation as Green supporters flock to sites where KMT people will be gathered.

But I have to say, the KMT has done very well from a PR perspective. First, breaking up illegal green protests and denying permits would have looked very bad for the KMT. Problem avoided! And now, any violence directed at Blues by Greens during Chen Yunlin's visit will look very bad, considering the KMT supporters will probably spend most of the time meditating. Blues will also outnumber Greens, unless there is some very coordinated Green planning, so expect the Green guys to look like crazies.

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