Occupy Central

Lawmaker 'compared Occupy to terrorism'

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 27 March, 2014, 3:51am
UPDATED : Thursday, 27 March, 2014, 4:57am

Lawmaker Lam Tai-fai has been criticised by an Occupy Central organiser for asking the city's security chief about the readiness of police to deal with terrorist attacks or a large-scale protest movement.

Lam was comparing "a peaceful protest to terrorist attacks", said Dr Chan Kin-man, one of the three main organisers of the non-violent civil disobedience movement.

"Occupy Central is clearly non-violent in nature and it is the non-violent nature that makes it powerful," Chan said.

Lam denied comparing the Occupy plan to terrorism, saying he had only tried to make better use of the chance he had to ask questions.

The minor violence which occurred during the occupation of the Executive Yuan over the weekend in Taipei drew widespread condemnation, Chan said, demonstrating that only a non-violent movement could attract popular support.

"Lam is arguably the lawmaker most active in opposing Occupy Central," said the Chinese University associate professor, noting the banners opposing the civil disobedience movement which Lam had put up on street railings.

The Occupy movement plans to mobilise supporters to blockade Central streets if the government fails to deliver a reform plan they find acceptable.

When asked if he was comparing the planned protest to a terrorist attack, the industrial sector lawmaker Lam said: "From what we saw in the Occupy protest in Taiwan, physical clashes can be easily turned into something else and the outcome is hard to [predict] … that's why I would like to know how [the police] would handle it."