19 Nov 2008

Nov 18th Press Release from the Wild Strawberries Movement

The Executive Yuan has raised the issue of revisions to the Parade and Assembly Law recently. However, the new version adopts a “compulsory registration system” whose content preserves restrictions including “assembling without registration is illegal”, “establishing forbidden areas”, “police have the right to alter the time, place, and form of the parade”, “the police can command dissolution of the parade without explicit standards”, and “the criminal and administrative sanctions relating to assembly”. Namely, the revision contains no practical improvements, only the change of name from “permission” to “registration”.

The Wild Strawberries question the statements President Ma made few days ago. What did he imply about the “registration system”? Is it compulsory or voluntary? Or is it that President Ma cannot distinguish between these two completely different systems?

The Wild Strawberries Movement cannot accept the revision. Initially, all the revisions proposed by KMT legislators Chu Feng-tz (朱鳳芝) and Cheng Li-wen (鄭麗文), as well as members of the DPP, were aimed at a voluntary registration system, but these were dropped from the final revisions. The Wild Strawberries urge both parties to support a voluntary registration system.

The Internal Affairs Committee of the Legislative Yuan will draw up modifications of the Parade and Assembly Law on November 19th. In order to supervise the Legislative Yuan’s procedures, the Taiwan Association for Human Rights will hold a large assembly at 8:45 am tomorrow in front of Legislative Yuan (No.1, Chungshan S. Rd). They intend to besiege the Legislative Yuan, and make a detour each hour. Further, there will be a farewell ceremony for the Assembly and Parade Law on 10 o’clock. The activity is expected to be held for at least half, if not the whole day, and the students involved in the Wild Strawberries Movement will come out to support this activity.

The Wild Strawberries want to stress that they never raise funds outside of Liberty Square (自由廣場), for there have been individuals going around Taipei raising money pretending to be Wild Strawberries. Please do not give money to anyone outside of the Liberty Square Demonstration.