Love without power is often a tragedy. Around 4am, I sat outside the gate of the Executive Yuan and was hit by water cannon from back left. My glasses flew away and I was lightheaded. All of a sudden, the lady on my right hand side tightly held my arm. I was surprised to see a policeman pulling and carrying the lady away while she was trying to resist. I tried to keep her there by grab her upperarm, lower arm, wrist and then fingers until she completely slipped out of my grip and my reach. It occurred to me then it might have been her who yelled ‘Hsieh Chang-ting! Please save us!’ earlier. I knew I couldn’t do much but didn’t have the heart to leave them behind. Therefore, we all stayed and lied on the ground with those students but still couldn’t help her.
I used to be a premier and surrounded by an entourage and security personnel when walking through that door. I never had to lie on the ground in those days. However, in that moment, I felt certain energy that got buried deeply in my soul after I became a government executive came to life again. I witnessed the students adhering to the principle of non-violence. Lying on the ground to resist the police action did not constitute obstruction of official business. However, if the police hit peaceful protesters with batons and shields, that constituted abuse of power and broke the law. Most of the police officers only followed orders and were therefore also victims of the inppropriate conduct of their superiors. The real culprit may have been fast asleep at that time, leaving one group of victims to abuse another group of victims. This is Taiwan’s cycle of victimisation. Love without power is tragic!