30 Nov 2008

[Rationale] The Transformation of the Taichung Wild Strawberries

The Wild Strawberries Movement was inaugurated in Taipei on November 6, 2008. This movement’s main appeal is to protest against the abuse of law enforcement and the violations of democracy and human rights. Our appeal has gained recognition and support from the students’ groups, which gradually expanded to other cities all over Taiwan within a week. On November 9, the Wild Strawberries movement officially launched in Taichung.

The Taichung Wild Strawberries has established its unique culture with local characteristics. Compared with the solemn atmosphere in the other locations, we created a space based on the norm of affection, peace and mutual active listening between the groups of the citizens and the sit-in students to induce rational and open-ended public discussions as the module for our poignant movement. Through the medium of literature, music, public forum and etc., we explored the issue of human rights as the start and expanded our analysis and examination to the issues such as environmental protection and farmers’ rights. The practice of Taichung Wild Strawberries proved the possibility that an open, rational and peaceful discussion can still exist in Taiwan.

It has been almost 500 hours on November 9 since the Taichung Wild Strawberries started the sit-in; nevertheless, the government authority had not shown any gesture to face the issue actively nor given any positive responses. Furthermore, the treacherous milieu of politicking also raised questions on the long term strategy of the future development of our movement. We have come to face a new historic crossroad of whether we continue the sit-in to exhaust our energy or we stand up to create new territory.

We with the Taichung Wild Strawberries think that the sit-in action needs to transform so we are able to march to a new stage. We believe that it is more effective to go into the campus and reach out to more people rather than staying in the Citizens Square and talking to the same people to mutually strengthening our belief. We will create a broader dialogue space through networking, assembly and discussions to generate resonant echoes.

With the precious memory of the warmth and peace at the Citizens Square, we have also come to realize the questions and challenges ahead when we resolved to this action of outreach to the campuses and communities. Still, we are not afraid or even withdrawn because we are ready. Only by taking this action can we review, improve, break through and revitalize the movement. We want to emphasize that the switch from the sit-in at the Citizens Square to the outreach action does not mean the end of the Taichung Wild Strawberries movement. We seek for the transformation of campaign to carry on our mission. In the future, we will continue our campaign and activities on various campuses and staging soap-box interactive campaign to continue our dialogue and exchanges with the citizens in Taichung at the Citizens Square from time to time.

──「Wild Strawberries Movement 2008」All sit-in students in Taichung, November 28th 2008

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