The Railway Bureau has scheduled the demolition of a home belonging to a family surnamed Chen, which the last resisting homeowner, at 6 a.m. on July 23 for the Tainan Railway Underground Project. People opposed to the demolition gathered around the house which led to a standoff with the police, forcing the bureau to announce a delay of the demolition.
No to relocation! Protect our homes! Protect our homes! Fight for dignity!
Dozens of Tainan residents have gathered at this residence on Qingnian Road belonging to a family surnamed Chen. One member of the family is Chen Chih-hsiao, the spokesperson of the Anti-Tainan Railway Self-Help Association. The Chen family is the last holdout, and the Railway Bureau's Central Region Engineering Office scheduled the demolition of the Chen residence for 6 a.m. on July 23. It was set to tear down a kitchen wall to prevent the Chen family from using the room. The night before, supporters gathered at the residence, hoping to prevent the demolition the next day. At 6 a.m. on July 23, police officers began arriving, aiming to remove the protesters.
We didn't know which way they (the police officers) would charge in, so we just sat here to see how they would go about tearing down the house.
The forcible demolition of the structure located at No. 1, Alley 225, Qingnian Road, East District, Tainan City will take place today.
The Central Region Engineering Office was in charge of the demolition. The Tainan City Police Department sent 400 police officers to assist in the operation. Meanwhile, protesters pulled down iron gates and the entire atmosphere was quite tense. Chen's 90-year-old mother was very touched to see so many people working to prevent the demolition. She said she has spent the past nine years trying to preserve her home.
I'm not willing to give up this home, but the current situation is that (there's no other option).
The Railway Bureau had originally planned to send a representative into the residence to speak with Chen, but this plan was rejected. The standoff lasted one hour. At 7:20 a.m., it was announced the demolition had been postponed.
Today's demolition has been canceled to ease tensions and reduce social costs.
If the government is willing to negotiate, then it's really simple. It shouldn't use the police to communicate for it and it should revoke the demolition order. My demands are also simple. They are to preserve the residence and to preserve the residence. They'll have to find a way to overcome the technical issues, because that's not my responsibility.
The Railway Bureau and the Tainan City Government will now coordinate a new demolition date.