Many unconfirmed reports exist about attempts to sabotage the movement from within. For example, members of the Legislative Yuan security team report discovering weapons within the Legislative Yuan, as well as gasoline, which may have been planted as possible attempts to discredit the movement. The truth of why these were there may never be known; alternative explanations to sabotage may be that there were individuals who sincerely thought these measures may be necessary for the future course of the movement. Likewise, particularly on 323, there may have been attempts to strategically sow disinformation among occupiers, in order to trick occupiers into withdrawing or thinning their numbers so that they could be cleared by police. Early on in the movement, there were also incidents of motorcycle gangs riding their motorcycles into the occupation encampment and threatening surrounding citizens. Wires set up for power and Internet were also found cut within the Legislative Yuan.
As anyone who wished to enter the Legislative Yuan was allowed inside, this may have allowed for spies and saboteurs to enter from the KMT or other forces, leading to members of the Legislative Yuan occupation to begin searches of the personal belongings of anyone who entered the Legislative Yuan. Certainly, plainclothes and undercover police took this opportunity to infiltrate the movement. In order to root out plainclothes and undercover police, a working group of the security team was set up to investigate suspicious individuals, at one point discovering eight undercover police within one day within the Legislative Yuan. Although not strictly attempts to sabotage the movement, the security team within the Legislative Yuan also had to deal with incidents of theft and sexual harassment.
Particularly following the visit of “White Wolf” Chang An-Lo (張安樂) and his followers to the Legislative Yuan, there are incidents in which members of organized crime are reported to have headed to the Legislative Yuan actually claiming they wished to defend the students from possible attack. Were these secretly attempts to discredit the movement? Or could it be that some members of organized crime, which as with the rest of Taiwanese society, splits along identity lines between Taiwanese and Chinese identification, sincerely wished to defend the students from attack by pro-China gangsters?
Photo credit: Brian Hioe