Drug `paradise’ riles councilors
By The Taipei Times Online – June 24, 2002
Copyright: The Taipei Times Online
While two DPP politicians claimed that expats were using Ecstasy at a party in the Huashan Arts District, two participants dismissed their accusations
Two DPP city councilors said that Taipei City’s Huashan Arts District is becoming a popular site for the city’s expatriates to hold outdoor Ecstasy rave parties.
DPP city councilors Wang Shih-chien and Yen Shen-kuan announced their concerns at a press conference yesterday in response to a tip concerning an event held at the Huashan Arts District on Saturday night.
Two participants at the event, however, contradicted the councilors’ accusations.
According to Wang, he received a midnight call from an informer Saturday, who told him that people attending a rave party in the Huashan Arts District were using Ecstasy and marijuana.
“[The informer], who was at the scene, said that there were about 200 to 300 people there, mostly Taipei expatriates,” Wang said. “[The informer] told me that one could smell marijuana in the air and that scattered Ecstasy pills were seen on the ground.”
To support his remarks, Wang showed video footage during the press conference supplied by his informer. The footage depicted scenes of people, some topless, dancing by a fire and others allegedly smoking marijuana.
Wang said that an “original arts group,” which applied to use the space, was supposed to finish its performance by 10pm Saturday night, “yet, somehow a rave party took over and lasted till around 7 am [yesterday] morning.”
“We don’t want the arts district to become a Taipei expatriates’ Ecstasy paradise,” Wang said. “We demand that the police and relevant departments behave responsibly and do what they are supposed to do, regardless of the fact that the party might involve some of the city’s expatriates.”
“What’s more, we also want to call on the people in the arts district to be alert so they can prevent people from throwing such parties in the name of the arts,” he said.
However, Lin Hung-chang, who represented the performing group at the press conference, denied the presence of Ecstasy or marijuana at the scene and questioned the motives of the two DPP councilors.
In response to Wang’s remarks, Lin Shon-chia, deputy director of the police station whose jurisdiction oversees the arts district, said the police would work harder to crack down on drugs.
“It’s not that we are neglecting such action, but we are limited by the size of our police force,” Lin said.
A foreigner, who took part in the party Saturday night and asked not to be named, told the Taipei Times yesterday that what was reported by a local evening paper was mostly wrong.
“The paper said most of the participants were foreigners. That was incorrect. Out of about 200 participants at the event, only about one quarter were foreigners,” he said.
“In addition, police did come to the site between 10 and 11pm, and no drugs were found. There weren’t any drugs,” he said.
The Huashan Arts District is an abandoned brewery in the heart of Taipei’s former industrial area, which has been turned into a “creative cultural park” by the government.