A professor in Taiwan along with a number of student protesters were arrested [zh] during a demonstration against the forced demolition of homes to expand Jhunan Science Park in Miaoli County, Taiwan.
Hsu Shih-Jung (徐世榮), a professor of the Department of Land Economics at National Chengchi University, was yelling a protest slogan, “Today you demolish Taipu, tomorrow we demolish the government”, when Taipei police officers arrested [zh] him on July 23, 2013. He was transferred to the local police station and indicted [zh] on the charge of endangering the public. Hsu was released on the next day and the charge against him dropped as the jury did not agree with the police's accusation.
Hsu was one of the attendees in a negotiation meeting between protesters against expropriation of rice fields in Jhunan and the Executive Yuan represented by the then Prime Minister of Taiwan Wu Den-yih in August 2010 after a 72-year-old woman committed suicide in protest. In that meeting, an agreement was made that four houses own by four different families located at the margin of the science park would be preserved.
However, endorsed by Wu Den-yih, who is now the current vice president of Taiwan, the Miaoli County government ordered these four families to move before July 5, 2013 for demolition.
Outraged by the Miaoli government's violation of the agreement, protesters had gathered together around the four houses to defend them against expropriation for more than two weeks. Chang who is a Pharmacy is one of the four families who resist moving. Their house is located at the junction of Justice Road and Love Road and hence become a symbolic site for the protest.
On July 18, while most protesters went to Taipei to protest in front of the president's Office, Miaoli County Commissioner Liu Cheng-Hung, ordered police to expel the rest of protesters who were gathering in front of the homes ordered several excavators to tear the houses down. Even though the houses were destroyed, protesters refused to leave and kept on demonstrating.
Since professor Hsu Shih-Jung had attended the negotiating meeting back in 2010, he explained the land expropriation in Jhunan is against Taiwan's Constitution [zh] in his blog on July 16, before he joined the protest in Taipei on July 18:
In fact, independent reporter AboutFish from citizen media outlet Taiwan Good Life pointed out that the decision to expand the Science Park has led to an increase of local government debt. Members of Miaoli community do not benefit from the project, on the contrary, each resident has to shoulder 73,000 new Taiwan dollars (approximately 2,320 US dollars) government debt. The public debt in Miaoli has reached 41 billion new Taiwan dollars (1.29 billion US dollars) and potential debt to emerge is 10.3 billion new Taiwan dollars (33.5 million US dollars).
Echoing Aboutfish's report, professor Hsu explained [zh] the embedded interest in land expropriation by local governments:
Protesters continue to demonstrate, asking the government to return the expropriated land, investigate these scandals, and revise the related law.