30 Nov 2008

[Seeking supports] Human Rights Movement for Taiwan at Dec 7th 2008

Dear Sir/Madam,

We are Wild Strawberries Student Movement from Taiwan. We are a non-partisan group of students from universities all over Taiwan to fight for human rights. Recently Taiwanese government used excessive police force to threaten our people's freedom of speech and assembly, beat protestors and insists that they do not damage any human rights (please check attachments for detail news report). We students organized to protest and also got dismissed by police force violently against our will. Therefore we gather together at Liberty Square in central Taipei at Nov 6th, 2008 to continue an peaceful sit-in. Today is our 24th day, and our government still maintains their attitude and even gave promotion to these violent police administers.

We are writing to you to invite you to support our act for human rights at Dec 7th, 2008. At Dec 10th, 2008, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights from United Nation will celebrate its 60th anniversaries. Therefore, at Dec 7th, we will mobilize people in Taiwan to use non-violent demonstration in central Taipei. This morning we've hold press conference and got very positive reactions. So far, we've got spontaneous responses from many local NGOs in Taiwan, Paris and North America. However, we would like to connect via your organization to the world. We will be very appreciated if you, on behalf of your organization, could hold any kind of peaceful action (ex. a parade, a sit-in, arts, music activities..) in your region at Dec. 7th , in order to support Wild-Strawberries Student Movement fight against the state violence and defend human rights in Taiwan . Your contribution to defend the democracy in Taiwan is very precious for us.

Taiwan has been ranked as "100% free country" by Freedom House all the time until 2008. But now we, as students and the younger generation, are highly disturbed by the increasing control of our new government led by President Ma, especially regarding the freedom of speech. Many students in our movement got threatened by secret police officers, national security staff, and even school officials. The popular term in Taiwan for our generation (the cohort born after 1980s) is the "strawberry" generation, which means that we are spoiled to be able to afford stress. However, today we stand out for a better future. Today is our 24rd day peaceful sit-in protest at the Liberty Square in Taipei (also know as the Chiang Kai Shek Memorial).

Recently, the Freedom House, FIDH and Harvard's Professor Jerome Cohen (who was a thesis advisor to President Ma) have joined us in condemning unlawful police violence in Taiwan. We─members of Taiwan's Wild Strawberries Student Movement (http://action1106.blogspot.com)─have continued our peaceful sit-in at Taipei's Liberty Square to petition President Ma and our government and Taiwan's legislature to amend the Assembly and Parade Laws , which unconstitutionally inhibit citizens' freedom of assembly and freedom of speech, and gives the police unchecked powers to restrict such freedom─an inalienable human right─from the citizen.

Enclosed please find two statements, one is our petition and selected news reports in English, the other is updated information after two weeks. Should you have any willingness to support our activities defending human rights in your region, please contact us :

Sincerely yours,
International Action Team
Wild Strawberries' Movement
website (Chinese): http://action1106.blogspot.com/
(English): http://taiwanstudentmovement2008.blogspot.com/
Official Email Address: 1106action@gmail.com

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