New York Times - 19 Oct 96

Prof. Robert B. Laughlin
Department of Physics
Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305
(Copied 20 Jan 09)

Nuclear Power Protest Leads to Riot in Taiwan

Published: Saturday, October 19, 1996

Hundreds of protesters battled with riot policemen outside Parliament today after legislators voted to restore money for a stalled nuclear project.

The opponents of nuclear power pelted the Parliament with gasoline bombs, fireworks and rocks and breached razor-wire barricades that closed off surrounding avenues.

As small fires burned outside Parliament, 4,000 helmeted riot police officers used water cannons to knock back the angry crowd, then slowly cleared the area. There were an unknown number of arrests by the time order was restored.

The rioting was the worst in Taiwan since it began its transition to a democracy in 1987, lifting martial law after four decades of authoritarian rule. Violence also erupted inside Parliament, where opposition lawmakers sought forcibly to prevent a vote they knew they would lose.