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Nov 6, 2008

Protests so far in a nutshell

+ A small group of people led by DPP Tainan legislator Wang Ting-yu chases down Zhang Mingqing to tell him "Taiwan is not a part of China!," and Zhang is jostled to the ground (though whether he was pushed down or not is subject to dispute; I lean toward saying he was pushed, but not by Wang). Wang Ting-yu is prosecuted 9 days later, leading to accusations of political motives.

+ Taipei KMT applies for parade ground rights at many key locations where Chen is expected to be, and all conveniently just before Chen's itinerary is publicly announced. Other DPP applications are rejected for various reasons. The DPP has to pick between ignoring this or getting unrelated shitty parade locations. They opt for the former.

+ Police act surprisingly heavy-handed and pay more attention to symbolic displays like flags or Taiwanese music than to protecting Chen physically; arbitrary detention seems to be the order of the day. This agitates the protesters, who become increasingly physical and irate.

+ ON Wed. night (the 5th), the police relax security a little and are rewarded with a protest that locks Chen Yunlin in a hotel for a banquet with Wu until after 2:00am, when the police finally manage to cut a path that will allow Chen's car to leave.

+ Ma and Chen move their meeting up today (the 6th) to avoid the 'big' protest, and obviously the protesters aren't happy their voice won't be heard by Chen (though the rescheduling is probably a smart move, including for safety reasons). The DPP helps keep the protesting crowd from completely exploding, but many police and protesters are injured. CNN picks up on it.

+ After the DPP demobilization, the unorganized crowd begins to move toward Chen's hotel tonight, where they are likely to stay well into the night. Police ring the hotel and prepare barriers to try and keep the crowd at bay.

What next? We'll know soon.

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