30 Dec 2008
Location: Liberty Square
Time: 20:00 Dec. 31st 2008
Music Concerts, Media Show Review 2008, Prospect of 2009
(2)Human Right Flag-raising Assembly
Gathering Time: 5 a.m. Jan. 1st 2009 AT Liberty Square
Walking to Ketagalan Blvd.
When the flag sets up, wear the mask of Chen Yun-lin.
When the ceremony blesses ROC, raise the slogan of Human Rights.
Please be quiet through out the whole process.
(3)Human Rights Jogging
Gathering and registration spot AT Ren-ai Rd.(仁愛路出口) entrance, Sun Yat-Sun Memorial Hall
Gathering Time: Jan. 1st 2009 7a.m.
Start to run AT 8:00 a.m.
29 Dec 2008
In all these cases, people were protesting peacefully. They merely wanted to express their opinions and be heard by the government. They were acting in a reasonable manner and had no intention of causing unnecessary disturbance to the general public.(Full Text)
26 Dec 2008
The response from the government has been distinguished largely by being both scant and negative. The only response has been in regard to the Assembly and Parade Law, discussed from mid-November by the government, with draft revisions made public by the Executive Yuan on Dec. 4th.
However, when we took a closer look at the Executive Yuan version, we found that the Executive Yuan had completely ignored the 4 major demands of the Wild Strawberry Movement. The requirement that the government approve all political demonstrations, which we had asked be changed to a simply notification process, remains a compulsory
notification process, little different in practice from asking for government permission. The wording of the law regarding limitations on the location of public protests and assemblies was changed, but the law remains the same, in fact becoming even more restrictive, with the an increase in the size of the area that can be restricted from public access for protests and assemblies. Nor was the police power to dismiss assemblies revoked. Although the Special Penalty for illegal assembly was abolished, the duration of the punishment was in fact lengthened. This has had a chilling effect on the public's right to assemble.
The new Assembly and Parade Law means only a change of names, not substance, and in fact places even stricter limits on the public's right to speak freely. These changes were certainly not desired or supported by the Wild Strawberries. Once again, we wish to re-emphasize our 4 demands for modifications to the Assembly and
Parade Law: (1)change the application for a parade permit to a notification system; (2) curb the arbitrary authority of the police to arrest demontrators and dismiss protests; (3) change the law so that violations are treated as administrative violations requiring fines, rather than criminal acts carrying jail sentences; and (4) lift restrictions on places where assemblies and parades can be held. The
Wild Strawberries refuse to sanction the government's modifications to the Assembly and Parade Law, which suppress the right of the people to speak and act freely. We hope that in future discussions of the Assembly and Parade Law, the government will support the version drafted by Legislator Chu Feng-chih (朱鳳芝).
21 Dec 2008
The first presentation of the documentary "Red Caution" with the forum on "Taiwan Crisis。Mobilize All the People"
This documentary is made by local associations in Taiwan. In order to review the violation of the nation during the China envoy, Chen's visiting on November 2008.
Preview (8mins clip): (The team has the subtitle in English and Japanese, but not on this clip so far.)
20 Dec 2008
For keeping the broadcasting, we registered for a new account: http://www.justin.tv/anchor1106
If there is any problem while watching, please write to email@example.com
19 Dec 2008
[Taiwan News] Reporters Without Borders condemns Taiwan president’s failure to respect press independence
Reporters Without Borders, an NGO devoted to press freedom, issued a statement on Wednesday saying that despite recent assurances to the contrary from President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九), it was concerned that media independence in Taiwan remains under threat from the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) government.The statement highlighted KMT attempts to control the programming of Public Television Service (PTS). The party’s legislators have proposed that PTS would require item-by-item approval from the Government Information Office (GIO) for all budget matters.
The KMT’s “campaign to reaffirm its influence over the public TV stations seems to have strengthened,” the statement read, before urging the president “to set up mechanisms that guarantee media independence.” (more)
Despite President Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) denial in a letter to Reporters Without Borders (RSF), the international press freedom watchdog is concerned that the independence of the nation’s media is threatened and has urged the Ma government to refrain from manipulating the media.“Taiwan should be a press freedom model in Asia and the independence of the public media is one of the key components of a free and diverse press system,” the group said in a statement released on Wednesday. “We want to believe in President Ma’s promises, but they must be translated into action.” (more)
INTERVIEW: Taiwan must fight to keep democracy: ex-UN officialCOUNTING BLESSINGS: Youth must learn to appreciate the freedoms they enjoy today, especially compared with the Chinese, ex-UN human rights official Nisuke Ando said
By Jenny W. Hsu
Friday, Dec 19, 2008, Page 3
Former UN Human Rights Commission chairman Nisuke Ando praised Taiwan as a model of democracy for China and said the public must pressure the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) administration not to return the country to the totalitarian system of the White Terror period.Ando was among several international human rights advocates to speak at the International Human Rights Conference in Kaohsiung on Wednesday last week, the 60th anniversary of the UN General Assembly’s adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. (more)
18 Dec 2008
It has been a week since it happened at the cold and dark night. What have the society paid for it? What will people comment on this history? There is no translation for the sounds, but the process is clearly presented. The night is never silent. How about us? 1211 incident is how I name this issue in order to memorize the brutality and tragedy of human society and our greediness. If we remove the mask of greediness, it should a smiling face with friendly embrace to the world, to human rights, isn't it?
15 Dec 2008
Because of the principle of presumption of innocence, students of the Wild Strawberry Movement first asked the man to explain why he had student Lai's computer. However, his words stuttered and he was unable to give a reasonable explanation. Therefore at approximately 9:30 am on the same day, the students of the Wild Strawberry Movement sought the assistance of a police officer
at the site. They reported the incident to the police. When the police checked the man's ID it was discovered that the information he had given to the Wild Strawberry Movement was false. Furthermore, he was not a student in Fu Jen University's Chinese Department.
In regard to this matter that arose, we habitually used a "rational, peaceful and nonviolent" action in accordance the movement's demands and central principle. Furthermore we refuse to make any wild accusations of guilt without proper examination. However, this matter has been reported in some sections of the media using a "Wild Strawberries violence, attempt to conceal quarrel"
form of description. In addition no students at the site or people who were present during the incident have been interviewed by the media. Therefore this one sided and incorrect information has made the students who were present feel disturbed and upset. We feel regret about this and feel very dissatisfied about the media reporting the Wild Strawberries' upholding the principle of "innocent until proven guilty" as a cover up.
Presently this matter is being investigated by the judicial system. Those present during the incident will make no further comment on this matter.
Go to 1106Action google group
Taiwan still stands as a beacon of hope for the rule of law and democratic development in Asia but recent government-related human rights violations have caused its rays to shine less brightly, said David Kilgour, a Canadian human rights lawyer, urging the public to closely monitor the administration in order to safeguard the country’s democracy.Kilgour, the vice president of the Taiwan-Canadian Friendship Group in the Canadian parliament, a well-known international human rights lawyer and activist and a former prosecutor, was one of the invited speakers at the International Forum on the 60th Anniversary of the Universal Declaration of human Rights held in Kaohsiung City on Thursday.
Citing the example of police brutality and riots last month during the visit of Chinese envoy Chen Yunlin (陳雲林), Kilgour said many friends of Taiwan were concerned about dramatic deteriorations in the rule-of-law, human dignity and democratic practices in Taiwan in recent months. (more)
14 Dec 2008
News in Mandarin: Liberty Times
who care about the human rights of Tibetans,
With due respect, we are here to request and appeal for your urgent help. Here about 110 Tibetan illegal immigrant refugees under a very bad situation, We have nothing to do at this moment and only seek your help to refuge in Taiwan.
It is very clear to all over the world that Tibet is under China and Tibetans ae facing very big problems in and outside Tibet. Especially inside Tibet, we don't have human right, freedom of religion, freedom of speech and there is no human value for Tibetans. So at this situation, Tibetans are force to flue to nearby countries such as India, Nepal and Bhutan for better life and better education for coming generations. Even in those countries, we are facing basic problems to survive. So finally we bought Indian and Nepalese fake passport and legally enter this beautiful island for better life. We heard that Taiwan is democratic state, have human respect, human right, freedom of religion and land of equality to all cast and
tribes. But now we are in Taiwan and facing very big problem of survival. We never aspect such thing will happen in Taiwan.
We already appealed many applications to your presidential office and other related your department. Even on 12th Aug 2008, we all refugees came to your presidential office for help and even to ministry of issue. But till now your government didn't find any solution for our issue. So we are here again today for your kind help. We only seeking refugee asylum in Taiwan. We don't have country and we don't have
place to go back. Today thousands of Tibetans are all around the world
So last but not the least, please…please help us to give certain identification to stay legally in Taiwan. We hope that you will take this a serious matter.
With best regards
Tibetan immigrant refugees in Taiwan
The original complete letter:
Contact: (202) 547-3686
Washington DC. Today, the Formosan Association for Public Affairs (FAPA) expressed its anger and dismay at the forcible removal of the "Wild Strawberries" students and a group of some 100 Tibetans from Freedom Plaza in Taipei in the night of December 10th 2008 – International Human Rights Day.
The students had been encamped at the Freedom Plaza since November 6th 2008, when they initiated the "Wild Strawberry Movement" and organized a month-long sit in on Freedom Plaza in Taipei, protesting the excessive use of force by police during the visit of Chinese envoy Chen Yunlin, and urging the Ma government to revise the Assembly and Parade Law.
FAPA considers the student sit-in a peaceful expression of concern, which is guaranteed under the principle of freedom of speech and of assembly. FAPA thus deeply regret that at 4:00 am in the early morning of December 11th, some 200+ police with shields and sticks arrived at the Plaza and first evicted a group of some 100 Tibetan refugees, who had been at the Plaza since December 9th, urging the Taiwan government to grant them residence and work permits.
Then at 5:30 am, the police moved in on the remaining group of some 40 students, who sat down on the ground, interlocking hands and arms. After considerable pushing and shoving, the students were forced on several trucks and transported back to National Taiwan University.
According to reports from Taiwan, the police moved in when the encamped students started to assist the Tibetan refugees, providing them with warm clothing against the cold, tents, food, and other supplies. The police stated that the students were evicted "…because they had not applied for a permit under the Assembly and Parade Law" – precisely the same anachronistic law the students were trying to get changed.
FAPA President Prof. Bob Yang stated that "…as Taiwanese-Americans we highly value the basic principles of human rights and democracy in Taiwan, and consider these actions by the Ma government a severe infringement on freedom of speech and of assembly." He added: "We will raise this issue in our contacts with the US State Department and with members of Congress."
13 Dec 2008
The forced eviction of Wild Strawberries Movement at the Freedom Square this morning (Dec 11), just a few hours after the International Human Rights Day, shows the Taiwan government's hypocrisy in the implementation of human rights .
On International Human Rights Day (12/10), Taiwan President Ma Ying-jeou asked the Legislature to give endorsement to two international human rights documents (the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights) to help implement human rights protection in Taiwan. The speech was made in Asian Democracy and Human Rights Award, an annual event organized by the Taiwan Foundation for Democracy. (more)
TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – The opposition Democratic Progressive Party yesterday returned the proposal made by ruling Kuomingtang Policy Committee Chief Executive Lin Yi-shih (林益世) to the Legislative Procedural Committee. Lin’s proposal to amend the Public Television Act to increase number of board member of Public Television Service has met protests by PTS employees, visual workers, Association of Taiwan Journalists (AJT) among 63 social groups for the ruling party’s attempt to intervene in PTS operations. ...
[Taipei Times] Scores of civic groups rally in support of Public Television Service
More than 60 civic organizations staged a protest outside the Legislative Yuan yesterday, demanding the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) caucus reconsider a proposal on controlling the budget for Public Television Service (PTS). The KMT caucus froze the NT$450 million (US$13.5 million) budget for PTS for the second half of this year and has come up with a proposal that all programming budget be approved by the Government Information Office (GIO) first.
The proposal has drawn criticism from the opposition, civic groups, filmmakers and academics, who called it a KMT attempt to control the media. ...
[Taipei Times] Crowd condemns violence ahead of hearing
Accompanied by hundreds of supporters, three women who have filed lawsuits against the police for allegedly beating them during anti-China protests last month, marched to the Taipei District Court for their first court hearing yesterday. “Our judicial system is not perfect, but we still have some expectations of it. That's why we're trying to seek justice through the judiciary against police abuses,” Judicial Reform Foundation executive director Lin Feng-cheng (林峰正) told a crowd gathered at Liberty Square in support of the complainants before marching to the courthouse a few blocks away. ...
Enough has been said about the timing of Taipei City police in dispersing the tail of the Wild Strawberry Student Movement at Liberty Square on Thursday morning — only hours after Human Rights Day ended — so there is no need to dwell on the irony of it all.What is of more concern here is the obliviousness of the police to their growing image as a partisan agency and the slapdash approach they use in determining when and how to enforce the law.
On Thursday, Zhongzheng First Precinct head Chen Ming-cheng (陳銘政) said that several complaints had been received about the protesters’ presence in the square. The offended parties were not identified, nor were the merits of the complaints canvassed. (more)
Less than twenty-four hours after the President Ma vowed to safeguard human rights and claimed that Taiwan enjoys the freest parades and assemblies around the world, at 3 am on December 11th, law enforcement authorities dispatched approximately 300 officers and numerous police transport wagons surrounding Liberty Square. Wild Strawberries demonstrators and approximately 100 exiled Tibetans were forcibly removed from the square via police transport wagons.
The Wild Strawberries strongly protest against such excessive police tactics to disperse the students, especially given the most recent rational and peaceful rally (on Sunday) and the subsequent publicly announced intention of leaving the Square as well as the close communication with police officers on the logistics. Clearly the new Zhongzheng Bureau chief Chen Ming-cheng (unlike his predecessor) ignored signs of good faith and refused to believe that the students were planning to leave Liberty Square, considering he forcibly removed the students at 4:00 a.m., when students were fast asleep and media reporters had left for the day. We challenge President Ma’s notion that Taiwan enjoys freedom of parade and assembly and questions whether the current Administration can only tolerate opposition voices for a month. More importantly, was unexpectedly dispersing the students at 4:00 a.m. the best response from President Ma Ying-jeou and Premier Liu Chao-hsueng?
Around 3 a.m., police officers and several police transport wagons arrived at Liberty Square to prepare to remove protesters. Within the hour, officers forcibly took 111 Tibetans away and increased to four police wagons. At around 4:30 AM, more than 200 officers surrounded 40 students, who then staged an impromptu sit-in. Assistant Professor Lee Ming-tsung (of the National Taiwan University’s Department of Sociology) rushed to the square and negotiated with the police. After negotiation efforts failed, the police started to remove the students’ supplies at the Square and soon after, the students themselves. Several students were injured during the removal process; one male student was kicked by the police. One student claimed up to the Strawberry Tower and confronted with the police. Around 5:20 a.m., the police dragged and carried 40-some students onto the transport wagons.
The Wild Strawberries strongly condemn the lack of legal grounds for the police to remove the resources at Liberty Square [which were to be donated to exiled Tibetans]. As the police dispersed the exiled Tibetans, the officers pointed out that they were dissatisfied with Wild Strawberries' donations to the exiled Tibetans. Officers indicated that if the Wild Strawberries had not assisted the Tibetan protesters [with resources left over from the Wild Strawberries sit-in], they would not have forcibly dispersed the incoming protesters (exiled Tibetans). That the forcible removal by the police was the result of the Wild Strawberries helping out exiled Tibetans indicates the authoritarian nature of our current Administration as well as the Administration’s fear of more unified and collaborative citizens. In Europe and the United States, the rights of exiled Tibetans are safeguarded and humanitarian assistance is often offered. On the other hand, the Ma Administration’s hypocrisy is painfully apparent: while President Ma recently stated the H.E. Dalai Lama will be invited to visit Taiwan at the “appropriate time,” the Administration decided to forcibly remove exiled Tibetans and the Wild Strawberries (who offered assistance) during the wee hours, and only four hours after the International Human Rights Day. Police action begs the question of how President Ma can declare that Taiwan will become a human rights country.
The Wild Strawberries condemn the enforcement of the unconstitutional Parade and Asssembly Law and the unfair treatment towards the exiled Tibetans. While the Wild Strawberries were transported to the front gates of National Taiwan University via three police transport wagons [in Taipei], exiled Tibetans who are far less familiar with the city were transported to Neihu’s Dahu Park and Guandu [suburbs of Taipei]. The exiled Tibetans did not resist police efforts while dispersed, only those who speak Chinese among them shouted out “Ma Ying-jeou - please save Tibet.” According to Article 29 of the “Police Enforcement Act,” the Wild Strawberries expressed objections as the police dispersed the protesters. The Wild Strawberries will file a formal complaint and demand a full police report of the dispersion this night citing Article 29 of the “Police Enforcement Act.”
Around 3 am, police officers and several police transport wagons arrived at Liberty Square. Now the police wagons prepared to remove the Wild Strawberries and the exiled Tibetans have increased to four. Tibetans of three police wagons have been forced away. Protesters in Liberty Square now need our support. Friends who can come here please do immediately!
Within one hour, all the exiled Tibetans have been forced ways by the police. Now more than 200 officers are surrounding 40 students, who then staging an impromptu sit-in. 2 to 3 journalists who have received the information are on the way to Liberty Square.
The police has started to carry the students onto the transport wagons. Some students are claiming up to the Strawberry Tower and confronting with the police. The situation is urgent.
12 Dec 2008
The Wild Strawberries strongly protest against such excessive police tactics to disperse the students, especially given the most recent rational and peaceful rally (on Sunday) and the subsequent publicly announced intention of leaving the Square as well as the close communication with police officers on the logistics. Clearly the new Zhongzheng Bureau chief Chen Ming-cheng (unlike his predecessor) ignored signs of good faith and refused to believe that the students were planning to leave Liberty Square, considering he forcibly removed the students at 4:00 a.m., when students were fast asleep and media reporters had left for the day. We challenge President Ma’s notion that Taiwan enjoys freedom of parade and assembly and questions whether the current Administration can only tolerate opposition voices for a month. More importantly, was unexpectedly dispersing the students at 4:00 a.m. the best response from President Ma Ying-jeou and Premier Liu Chao-hsung?
Around 4 a.m., police officers and several police transport wagons arrived at Liberty Square to prepare to remove protesters. Within the hour, officers forcibly took 111 Tibetans away and increased to four police wagons. At around 4:30 AM, more than 300 officers surrounded 40 students, who then staged an impromptu sit-in and called out “Abuse of State Power, Unconstitutional Parade and Assembly Law”. Assistant Professor Lee Ming-tsung (of the National Taiwan University’s Department of Sociology) rushed to the square and negotiated with the police. Officers indicated that if the Wild Strawberries had not assisted the Tibetan protesters [with resources left over from the Wild Strawberries sit-in], they would not have forcibly dispersed the incoming protesters (exiled Tibetans).
After negotiation efforts failed, the police started to remove the students’ supplies at the Square and soon after, the students themselves. Several students were injured during the removal process; one male student was kicked by the police. To add insult to injury, officers were disrespectful towards and ridiculed the students, all the while almost gleefully declared that they can “finally take them away.” Around 5:20 a.m., the police dragged and carried 40-some students onto the transport wagons.
The Wild Strawberries condemn the enforcement of the unconstitutional Parade and Asssembly Law and the unfair treatment towards the exiled Tibetans, who did not resist police efforts to disperse them. While the Wild Strawberries were transported to the front gates of National Taiwan University via three police transport wagons [in Taipei], exiled Tibetans who are far less familiar with the city were transported to Neihu’s Dahu Park and Guandu [suburbs of Taipei]. Towards the end of the removal operation as the police was speaking to the press, a supporter of Tibet shouted out “Ma Ying-jeou - please save Tibet.”
That the forcible removal by the police was the result of the Wild Strawberries helping out exiled Tibetans indicates the authoritarian nature of our current Administration as well as the Administration’s fear of more unified and collaborative citizens. In Europe and the United States, the rights of exiled Tibetans are safeguarded and humanitarian assistance is often offered. On the other hand, the Ma Administration’s hypocrisy is painfully apparent: while President Ma recently stated the H.E. Dalai Lama will be invited to visit Taiwan at the “appropriate time,” the Administration decided to forcibly remove exiled Tibetans and the Wild Strawberries (who offered assistance) during the wee hours, and only four hours after the International Human Rights Day. Police action begs the question of how President Ma can declare that Taiwan will become a human rights country.
Last but not least, the Wild Strawberries strongly condemn the lack of legal grounds for the police to remove the resources at Liberty Square [which were to be donated to exiled Tibetans]. The Wild Strawberries will file a formal complaint and demand a full police report citing Article 29 of the “Police Enforcement Act.”
[Taiwan News] Taiwan Wild Strawberry Movement students to form observation group in case trial against state violence
The observation group is formed to observe and take records of the court session. On the same day Dec. 12, social groups and student protesters will also hold a “private court” to try the state violence case at the Liberty Square. (more)
Dec 11th , 2008
After four hours of Human Rights Day, Taiwanese government forced students and Tibetan refugees to leave the Liberty Square, and moved everything students had sat up there at Dec 11th, 2008, 4 am in the dark. Handling only 30 students of Wild Strawberries Student Movement, who is protesting police violence and defend human rights, Taiwanese government used more than 300 officers with shield and weapons to circle around students, dozens of heavy-guarded buses, to drag them one by one to the buses and cleaned the Liberty Square.
While police force tried to untie students against their will to leave, several students were hurt during the process by violently beating or twisting while some policemen was laughing with arrogant attitude. One student recalled: “Yes, I remember the faces they had while they tore us down. They were laughing. They cursed us, shouting ‘finally I can chase you out! Sons of Bitch! ” Another student said that they were trying to negotiate with the police that they are going to leave peacefully, voluntarily. But this request was answered with more police with weapons at hand to surround 30 students in the center at dark.
At the north side of the Liberty Square, about 100 Tibetan refugees were also forced to walk into the police buses by themselves peacefully in the dark. They hold posters such as “I love Taiwan” and said they were in debt to come here and have stayed here several years without any legal status. Taiwanese government tried to ignore them instead of helping them. But if they got return to India or Tibet, they will get serious punishments and they’ve rather die. Most of them cannot speak Mandarin and did not resist against police at all. However, the Taiwanese police divided them deliberately into 6 buses and drove them to six different sites among the suburban mountains to “dispose” in the morning. Students of wild strawberries were trying anxiously to reach and locate them by cell phone, but Tibetans, as foreigners in Taiwan, could hardly recognize where they were in Taipei.
How could Taiwan, claiming to be a democratic, free country, did such crime without any humanity concern to Tibetans and students? How could police force imply such mean and well-planned strategies to treat an peaceful students movement and Tibetan refugees? Ironically, less than 24 hours ago, President Ma in Taiwan announced in public, saying “Taiwan is the most free country to assembly and parade in the world” in an occasion of hosting an human rights award ceremony, while two or three students and Tibetan among the audience were forced to leave. What a lie, what a show.
Why Taiwanese government ignore but tolerant the students’ movement at Liberty Square for more than one month, but suddenly they changed their mind and forced students to leave? The answer is the group of Tibetan refugee with more than 100 members, coming to Liberty Square to stay since this Tuesday. During the negotiation with police, students were warned in advance: “ If you helped those Tibetan, you can protect yourselves.” However, students share their sleeping bags, jackets, scarf, water, shelters and food with Tibetan during the night, while the weather was chilly and windy in Taipei. Students were told: “it is because you helped Tibetan, so we have to force you out!”
After the “cleaning” of Liberty Square, students and Tibetans came back to the Liberty Square after they were “abandoned” by police. Students hold an press conference together with Tibetans and announce that they are going to stay there. The representative of the Tibetan refugees also expressed his appreciation for students helps. Students of Wild Strawberries also announced their strongest support for Tibetan refugees and expressed their anger at the government’s cruel treatment on Tibetans.
How could a democratic state turn Tibetan refugee around and bully its own young people to help Tibetan refugees? This awkward attitude is the vivid image that President Ma is trying to do: to impress Beijing. Ma is busy to correct his talking about the visit of Dalai Lama recently, saying : “It is not a good time for him to visit Taiwan”, while Dalai Lama was visiting France. He then further chased out the peaceful Tibetan refugees with students in Liberty Square.
The Wild Strawberries Movement was begun at Nov 6th 2008 in Taipei, while an Chinese envoy visited Taiwan and Taiwanese government used heavy police force and heavy tactic to prevent the envoy from hearing Taiwanese protesting violence. They’ve got more than 140,000 people’s signature to support them and more than 900 scholars in Taiwan supports them as well. It was their 35 day silent sit-in at liberty square and they hold a peaceful parade this passing Sunday. They’ve announced to change their site this week and planned to leave the Liberty Square soon.
* CNN i-report: what happened at the beginning…(video) http://www.ireport.com/docs/DOC-156557
* How police treat students and Tibetan yesterday (news + video) http://www.taipeitimes.com/News/front/archives/2008/12/12/2003430879
“[The eviction took place] less than 24 hours after President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) said [at a Human Rights Day event] that people in Taiwan enjoy the most freedom to assemble and parade [in the world],” movement spokesman Lo Shih-hsiang (羅士翔) told a press conference.
“At about 5am, the students who were staging a silent sit-in at Liberty Square were besieged and removed by police along with about 100 Tibetan activists, without any warning. We are very ashamed by [the police action],” Lo said. (more)
11 Dec 2008
Three hours after Human Rights Day, Tibetans and Wild Strawberries were forced away from "Liberty" Square
1211 3:30 a.m. Tibetans were forced to leave. The policemen sent all the Tibetans away by three police patrol cars; then turned to WS. Within 1.5 hour, the policemen destroyed all the houses and Strawberries tower and lifted students away brutally. Approx. 30 Wild Strawberries were moved away (like a piece of meat or some inanimate stuff) by more than 200 policemen with nightsticks and shield. Please tell me, why at night? At deep sleepy night, at 3:30?? Three hours after Human Rights Day? Are they thief? Why to force Tibetans away? They were already homeless refugees. Some of them could not even speak Mandarin. They were sent and abandoned in six different corners in Taipei. Why illegal? Did those policemen know that the law they use had already announced a violation of Constitution Law? And it is going to be revised soon in the Legislative Yuan. Who is illegal? When students ask them to sign the "disagreement with the administration decision" according to article 29 in Police Law, they refused. Do they really read the law before they became a police???
|It is time for minuteman! |
Allons enfants de la Patrie,
|Le jour de gloire est arrivé !|
|Contre nous de la tyrannie,|
|L'étendard sanglant est levé|
The Wild Strawberry Movement began on Nov. 6 during the period of Taiwan visit made by Chen Yunlin (陳雲林), chairman of China’s Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Strait, asking the Parade and Assembly law be amended. On Dec. 7, a rally was held in peace and ended the one-month movement. Several students still stayed for the sit-in. Since the next day, Tibetan movement supporters have staged a sit-in on the right side of the Liberty Square in protest of China’s violent acts. (more)
Liu issued the directive at a weekly Cabinet meeting, during which the Ministry of Foreign Affairs delivered a report on the progress in promoting ratification of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. (more)
[Urgent] At 4 a. m., more than 200 policemen forced 40 students and Tibetan friends away on Liberty Square!
We are very sorry to inform you that Wild Strawberries' site in Liberty Square, Taipei was forced to close by police tonight at 4 am. We will, however, keep in touch with you via this email account later. thank you.
Two police truck and huge amount of policemen came to Liberty Square to force Tibetan friends away. More and more police truck arrived and they brought three trucks of Tibetans away.
Within an hour, all Tibetans were forced away by policemen.
At this moment, more than 200 policemen surrounded approx. 40 students. Student sat quietly on the ground. Two to three journalist were on the way to the square.
Started to "lift" away students by police patrol car (the big trick to transport criminal.)
There will be a press conference held on 9:00 on Liberty Square, 11st Dec. 2008.
A group of independent journalists gathered outside the National Police Agency (NPA) yesterday, demanding an interview with NPA Director-General Wang Chuo-chiun (王卓鈞) on an incident last week in which two independent journalists were asked to leave the scene of a protest.“We would like to interview NPA Director-General Wang today on our right to record and report news events as civilians and as independent journalists,” Sun Chiung-li (孫窮理), an independent journalist affiliated with news Web site Coolloud, told police officers blocking the entrance to the building. (more)
Ma: ... Taiwan has also become the freest country in the world for those wishing to assemble or parade.
Thursday, Dec 11, 2008, Page 8
At the invitation of the Taiwan Foundation for Democracy, President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) delivered a keynote speech yesterday marking International Human Rights Day in Taipei.In his speech, Ma expressed the wish that the legislature would speedily approve the UN International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights to show the importance Taiwan attaches to human rights. ...
[China Post] Ma calls for legislative endorsement of human rights covenants
President Ma Ying-jeou yesterday called on lawmakers to endorse two documents for the protection of human rights, but the opposition camp claimed that human rights conditions have been back pedalling since he took office in May.
Ma asked the Legislature to give its long-delayed endorsement to two international human rights documents to help implement human rights protection in Taiwan. ...
By far the best statement is: In his speech, Ma said: “The government has worked incessantly to uphold human rights ... Taiwan has also become the freest country in the world for those wishing to assemble or parade.”
The freest country in a wold only including China and North Korea???
If not, Mr. Ma just lied in public and obvious for million of people.
Sorry, maybe I have always been in the wrong places in this world, but I would even call the cabinets ideas for a new assembly law are in my eyes extremely restrictive.
I presented the German Assembly law some time ago and there are much more liberal countries in Europe.
I live in a country with gay marriage, weed smoking and a liberal Jew as our capitals mayor and I would state, Mr. Ma has just been in the wrong countries.
10 Dec 2008
12nd Dec. 14:00 Taipei Local Court: to support A girl who were pushed by THREE policemen that her arm was broken. Please gather on Liberty Square with some NGOs first and then go to support the friend and investigate the court.
12nd Dec. 19:00 Forum on the new Version of Parade and Assembly law purposed by Administration Yuan
Wild Strawberries are still here; if you could, please keep watching on us and caring about the current human rights situation in Taiwan and the world!
First of all, I want to congratulate you guys on a successful march on Sunday. It just goes to show what people power can accomplish when it is organized and peaceful. However, I was disturbed by an article I read in the Taipei Times today that said KMT officials went to Washington D.C. and denied that police had stopped protesters from waving Republic of China flags or that they closed down the record store that was playing patriotic Taiwanese music. Hopefully NGOs such as Freedom House and Heritage Foundation will remain incredulous about the KMT's version of things, but I think the Strawberries can help counteract the KMT misinformation campaign. If any of you personally know someone who had an ROC flag taken from them, why not have them write letters to the Heritage Foundation and US Congress, giving their first-hand account of what actually took place? Of course, the more people involved the better. I personally saw a flag taken from a women on Taiwanese television and am willing to testify on what I saw.
I think it also would be a good idea for Taiwanese abroad to act in solidarity with the Wild Strawberries in Taiwan in order to help the movement make a greater international impact. I live in Taiwan now, but am from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania where there are universities such as Carnegie Mellon, Pitt, and Duquesne and many Taiwanese both teach and take classes at these institutions. There are of course many more Taiwanese on the west coast of the US, in New York City, and all throughout Europe as well. I know it would not be easy to organize abroad, but it would be worth the effort, since not many people seem to know what is going on in Taiwan right now, or they may be getting their information from unreliable sources-- like Ma's stooges.
And in Taiwan a student movement known as the wild strawberries are calling on Taiwanese president Ma Ying-jeou to apologize for alleged police brutality. The country's police force clamped down on demonstrators during last month's visit by Chinese Communist Party official Chen Yunlin. NTD's Ben Hedges brings us there. (more)
Why is there no link to the English wikipedia page?
President Ma Ying-jeou attended the Asian Human Rights Awards on Wednesday, World Human Rights Day. Speaking at the ceremony, he urged the Legislature to sign off on international human rights agreements Taiwan first signed in the sixties. (more)
President supports changes to detention act
President Ma Ying-jeou said Wednesday that he supports better treatment for criminal suspects awaiting trial. Currently, those held in detention prior to their trials are treated no differently to those convicted of crimes. (more)
... including some wrong reports that the protests ended:
[China Post] Students end sit-in with demonstrationTAIPEI, Taiwan -- College students demanding the right to hold public demonstrations without restrictions decided to end their month-long sit-in after staging a march in Taipei yesterday.
With supporters and sympathizers joining their ranks, the students marched on the boulevard that link the Anti-Corruption Plaza, the Legislative Yuan, and the Executive Yuan (Cabinet) in the capital to protest the regulations that they say limit people's constitutional right to demonstrate freely. ...
[Taipei Times] Wild Strawberry protest stays peaceful
EVERYBODY STAY CALM: The student protesters and supporters applauded police officers for only issuing warnings and not blocking them or clashing with them
By Flora Wang and Loa Iok-sin
Monday, Dec 08, 2008, Page 1
The Wild Strawberry Student Movement marked its one-month anniversary in Taipei yesterday with a rally featuring a mock funeral for the nation’s human rights, attracting several thousand participants of all ages. The demonstrators, who only reported their planned event to the police instead of seeking approval from law enforcement authorities as required by the Assembly and Parade Law (集會遊行法), peacefully marched to the Legislative Yuan, the Control Yuan, the Executive Yuan, the National Police Agency (NPA) and Ketagalan Boulevard in front of the Presidential Office. ...
[Taipei Times] REPORTER'S NOTEBOOK: Wild Strawberries protest proves the skeptics wrong
Many people may have had reservations about whether the loosely-knit Wild Strawberry Student Movement would be capable of staging a successful and peaceful rally as planned when they heard that the students had decided not to report their planned protest to the police in defiance of the Assembly and Parade Law (集會遊行法). Even Ho Tung-hung (何東洪), an associate professor of psychology at Fu Jen Catholic University and a participant in the Wild Lily Student Movement (野百合學運) of the 1990s, expressed reservations when talking to the Taipei Times several days prior to Sunday’s demonstration.
Ho, who had been offering advice to the Wild Strawberries as a student movement veteran, had expressed doubts about whether the students would be able to handle such a large-scale rally. ...
[Tawan News] Taiwan’s Wild Strawberry Movement ends with a peaceful rally
TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – On the one-month anniversary, Wild Strawberry Movement had assembled protesters all over the island to stage a demonstration in Taipei Sunday, protesting the “death of human rights” to Ma Ying-jeou government. Since the previous application for right of way was overruled, it is feared that clash may erupt between students and police officers. Fortunately, the four-hour rally came to an end in peace, with students expressing their gratitude to the police for the peaceful result. ...
[Taiwan News] Thousands turn out for Wild Strawberries demo in Taiwan
About 3,000 Taiwanese college students marched in the capital yesterday to protest a law that they say limits people's constitutional right to demonstrate freely.
The students, many in black shirts symbolizing impaired human rights, shouted slogans as they paraded in a downtown district with police and government buildings. ...
TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – Social groups Taiwan Society and Friends of Taiwan released a documentary “Red Marshall Law” yesterday on the eve of International Human Rights Day and of the 29-year anniversary of Formosa Incident, criticizing Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) government’s downgrading Taiwan and harming human rights. ...
[Taiwan News] Taiwan PTS protests press freedom interfered by lawmakers
TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – Public Television Service (PTS) Board Director Cheng Tung-liao (鄭同僚) and President Sylvia Feng (馮賢賢) among other top executives yesterday placed a statement on Chinese-language newspapers to protest the Legislative Yuan’s resolution that TV stations under the Taiwan Broadcasting System should ask for the consent of governing authorities before using each item of next year’s budget. The statement said that lawmakers had moved Taiwan’s freedom of press and democracy backward and breached the consensus of withdrawal from media of political party and the military. ...
[Taipei Times] TAHR slams Ma over rights abuses
TOP 10 VIOLATIONS: The rights association said that instead of exporting Taiwanese democracy to China, the government has imported Chinese repression
By Jenny W. Hsu
Wednesday, Dec 10, 2008, Page 1
The suppression by police of protests during last month's visit by a Chinese official topped this year's top 10 human rights violations, the Taiwan Association for Human Rights (TAHR) said yesterday, urging the government to stop sabotaging the nation's hard won democracy by promptly amending the Assembly and Parade Law (集會遊行法). ...
[Taipei Times] All the president's men reject 'police brutality'
In an effort to improve his reputation abroad, President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) sent a legislator, a police bureaucrat and a justice ministry official to Washington on Monday to argue that recent charges of Taiwanese police brutality were a “misunderstanding.”After making a 90-minute presentation at the Heritage Foundation — a conservative think tank — the team moved on to the US Congress to distribute a statement denying that police were anything other than victims in the protests against Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Strait Chairman Chen Yunlin's (陳雲林) visit last month. ...
[Taipei Times] Documentary on brutality during Chen visit released
A pro-independence organization yesterday released a documentary recounting how the police used excessive force to block people from expressing their opinions and protesting during the visit of Chinese envoy Chen Yunlin (陳雲林), and said the documentary would be delivered to several international human rights organizations in the hope they would pay more attention to Taiwan’s human rights situation.
“By producing the documentary, we hope to draw the attention of international society [to the fact] that human rights in Taiwan have been seriously violated and democracy has been jeopardized during President Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) administration,” Secretary-General of the Taiwan Society Lo Chih-cheng (羅致政) told a press conference yesterday. ...
[Taipei Times] Human rights advocates air concerns
DEJA VU: Threats to civil liberties and freedom of the press as well as pretrial detentions of opposition figures have led some to feel they are back in the Martial Law era
By Ko Shu-ling
Wednesday, Dec 10, 2008, Page 3
On Dec. 10, 1948, the UN General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Sixty years later, Taiwan prides itself on its peaceful democratization. However, many human rights and media watchdogs, both local and international, have expressed concerns over an increase in human rights violations and restrictions on civil liberties since President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) took office in May. ...
“Young people in Taiwan or in Afghanistan or in any other parts of the world are the owners of this world, the futures of this world. They have to be more respect for human rights and human dignity so they will be more responsible for a peaceful future for this planet,” she said.
We are still here!
The No Borders Human Rights concert (1209 evening on Liberty Square, Taipei) was successful. Human rights activities from Nepal, Afghanistan, Hong-Kong were presented and addressed the current human rights situation in their own countries. The music played by foreigners friends who care about human rights in Taiwan was energetic and cheerful delivering the message of Love, Peace and Freedom to the world. People ignited candles on a no-border-line world map on those places where the participants are from and those places need the human rights. No border is what we expect to be realised with regards to freedom, peace and love. These are the value all human beings share and what we need to protect and fight for.
Wild Strawberries are still there. We are not the juicy pink strawberries on the cake, but the wild one which can endure time and challenging. It had been more than 800 hours passed. We are still here and there. We have already been in the history and in people's mind. And we are growing and spreading.
If you could, please keep watching this innovative and hopeful student movement by students in Taiwan. And if you could, you are welcome to give advice that what we should do to wake the deaf government up. You may put comment here, or you can send commentary to firstname.lastname@example.org
The protesters, some wearing mocking costumes of former emperors and current mainland Chinese Communist officials, demanded that the current Taiwanese government of President Ma Ying-jeou abolish a law that requires protesters to see and obtain prior permission for all public protests. They made their point by merely notifying local officials of the march but not waiting for approval.
Along the route they were briefly warned and stopped by Taiwanese security officials but without incident. The march was punctuated with a mock funeral for human rights, just two days before celebration of International Human Rights Day.(Read More)
8 Dec 2008
[Dec 9 concert in support of Wild Strawberries] Music Trumps Nationality. Human Rights Know No Borders.
I would very much appreciate your passing on to your friends in Taiwan (and anyone else for that matter) this urgent appeal to turn out in a show of international support for what the Wild Strawberries have been able to achieve. This is a straight-up human rights issue, and green/blue issues are banished for the night of Dec 9, when we have some musicians from Japan, Canada, the US and elsewhere coming out to show the Wild Strawberries that theirs is a movement that has the support of the world.
I hope that everyone recognizes that the Taiwan government's human rights roll-back of the last several months has serious implications for all of us in Taiwan, foreigners included, and especially those of us who have made the Taiwan struggle for human rights, freedom and democracy our own. Mr. Ma is quite clearly going by the PRC playbook, so, if we don't rise up and put a stop to it, well, PRC-style repression will not be long in coming. Think of this as Taiwan's answer to the Tienanmen Massacre!
We have a good musical line-up, some speeches, and we will have prepared a world map, without any national borders showing, by which we wish to say that (1) music knows no borders, just as human rights is universal, and (2) in solidarity with Taiwanese, who are being denied the right to decide whether or not they can even have a country, then we will forego our nationalities for the evening.
We wish to give graphic, camera-ready expression to this using a map, and each international guest is invited to come up and give their name, and say where they are from -- without mentioning country. The more places we have represented, the more powerfully we can make the point that the Wild Strawberries enjoy international support.
Several representatives from international human rights organizations will also be present.
Sure hope to see you there. Please pass the word, bring friends and so on.
All this takes place at downtown Taipei's Liberty Square, 5 minutes' walk from the MRT CKS Memorial Hall station.
That's tomorrow night, Dec 9, beginning at 7pm and running until 11.
7 Dec 2008
2008.12.07 Detroit is currently snowing and the temperature is blow freezing. About 100 people from Detroit, Lancing, Flint, Ann Arbor, and several from Toledo, Ohio and Toronto, Canada, gathered in Novi Town Center to show support to the Wild Strawberry Movement.
TAIPEI, Taiwan: About 3,000 Taiwanese college students marched in the capital Sunday to protest a law that they say limits people's constitutional right to demonstrate freely.
The students, many in black shirts symbolizing impaired human rights, shouted slogans as they paraded in a downtown district with police and government buildings. (more)
Statement about President Ma's violation on Human Rights and a series of issues: Alerte aux droits de l'homme à Taiwan
On December 7th, Taiwanese in PARIS protests Taiwan government led by Ma violates human rights
Where: Human right plaza: Trocadéro
Where to meet: Parvis des Droites de l'Homme (You will see the flag right on metro exit)
December 7th marks the one month anniversary of the Wild Strawberries Movement and with your participation, we would like to march for human rights in Taiwan!
Please join us to rehearse the march that has been voluntarily reported to law enforcement authorities
Noon Registration and Assemble at Liberty Square
1:00 p.m. Non-Violent Civil Resistance Workshop
- General session on safety rules and guidelines on conducting a peaceful march
- Joint pledge for a peaceful march by all participants, including students, private citizens, and NGOs
- “Wild Strawberries Fight Song” led by Takao Fight Song Band and an exhibition show
II. March Route
2:00 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. March Commences from Liberty Square
- Follow along Chung-Shan S. Road, passing the Legislative Yuan and Administrative Yuan.
- After turning right onto Chung-Hsiao E. Road, will walk along Lin-Sen S. Road and Chi-Nan Road before returning to Chung Shan-S Road with the final destination at Ketagalan Boulevard
- Command car arrives at Ketagalan Boulevard (ETA 4:30 p.m.)
4:30 p.m. Memorial Service for Human Rights
5:30 p.m. Return to Liberty Square
- Following the memorial service, the group will leave Ketagalan Boulevard and cross over Chung Shan S. Road via the Ai-Kuo W. Road intersection to return to Liberty Square.
III. Evening Reception
6:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m. The Wild Strawberries Evening Reception
- Wild Strawberries Movement representatives from all over Taiwan will share their thoughts and experiences over the last month
- Declaration of future goals and objectives
- Performance by Mr. Ling Sheng-Hsiang
6 Dec 2008
2. San Diego TV station (Fox , channel 6) is going to broadcasting TACC-SD candle light rally to support of WSM. The TV camera crew will be starting at 8 PM ( Taipei time 12 noon) at TACC (Taiwanese American Community Center), following interview Prof Chris Fan. San Deigo want to spread out the WSM as much as they can.
Wild Strawberries hereby reiterate its opposition to the Law of Assemble and Parade in its current form. And vehemently oppose government’s use of the law to silence the dissidents.
Apart from submitting protest application, Wild Strawberries also prepared a detailed protest and route plan for the police, hoping that the police can uphold its constitutional obligation in defending students’ right to protest and express.
The purpose of this march is to highlight the absurdity of the Law, which stipulated that a protest can not be hold without clearance from the authority. But, what if the authority is the target of the protest? Will authority approve protest knowing itself is the subject of protest?
The Wild Strawberries regret police’s refusal to accept protest application, and this only strength our resolute to see The Law of Assemble and Parade being amend. The Wild Strawberries will demonstrate to government that a protest march can be peaceful and rational, government shouldn’t be fearful of people; rather, expression of different voices is a sign of mature democracy, and it should be encouraged rather then brutally suppressed.
Lee originally planned to visit the students Sunday on the Movement’s one-month anniversary but advanced his visit for a conflicting schedule. He told the students to take care of themselves amidst the cold weather and cheered for the demonstration to be staged tomorrow.
Lee said he agreed on the movement’s law amendment demand. The true essence of democracy lies in “power of the people”, said Lee, and government should not ask a demonstration to be held followed by application, but only to dispatch the police when violence occurred. (Read more)
From: James Leigh
Professor Emeritus in the College of Education
University of Missouri
Columbia, Missouri, USA
I recently returned to the United States from a visit to your beautiful country,
where I had the opportunity to talk with other professors and students about my
professional work and interests related to the field of education. Even though the
purpose of my trip was entirely nonpolitical, during my visit I learned about the
Taiwan Wild Strawberries Movement, and I have read with interest the November 10
protest statement and many of the other postings on the TW Action website. After
returning to the U.S., I have been invited to share some of my thoughts and opinions
with you concerning the goals and activities of your movement.
Although the history and culture of our countries are quite different, when I was a
university student in the late 1960’s and early 1970’s, there was a great amount of
unrest and turmoil in the U.S. between large numbers of university students and
faculty and others in the American society on the one hand, and staunch supporters of
government, military, and police authorities on the other hand. The protests and
demonstrations focused primarily on disagreement over U.S. policy relating to the
Vietnam war, but also grew to encompass opposing perspectives about other aspects
of American values and culture. Even though the Vietnam war ended long ago, there
are still lingering divisions and resentments harbored by many U.S. citizens as a result of the polarization and conflict from that era. I believe that some of that residual distrust and misunderstanding is now apparent in the socio-political distinction between “red” states and “blue” states in America, which in some respects is not unlike the designation of “blue” and “green” parties today in your country.
I cannot pretend to be well-versed in Taiwanese history and culture and its
complex relationship with the People’s Republic of China, so I will abstain from
offering judgments and specific recommendations regarding your current situation
other than to state that, as I understand it, your purpose appears to be not only just but noble insofar as it intends to protect and advance the cause of democracy and independence in your country. Of course, this position is to be expected from a
citizen of the country that declared its own independence in the words, “We hold these truths to be self-evident: That all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness; that, to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed ...” This statement maintains that the members of your movement, and indeed all citizens of Taiwan, already have the rights that you advocate by virtue of being human. You are not asking any government to confer such rights that you already possess, but rather your goal is to ensure that your government recognizes and protects those rights.
Since I am not in a position to provide suggestions regarding the particular
strategies and resources your movement should employ toward this goal, I will simply
offer some thoughts to consider based upon my observations of and participation in
protest movements in my own country. For example, one important lesson I learned
is that people are seldom persuaded to a point of view by physical confrontation or
loud and emotionally-charged argument. If anything, such tactics generally produce
a defensive posture in philosophical adversaries, and often are regarded as rude and
arrogant and potentially dangerous by neutral individuals who otherwise might be
open to the message if it had been offered in a less threatening manner. Many of the
violent clashes between student groups and police in the U.S. in the 1960’s were
counterproductive, even though the students’ cause was worthwhile, because so many
citizens were repulsed by what they perceived as the mindless destruction of property, disruption of civil order, injuries, and sometimes even the tragic and needless loss of life.
As you pursue your purpose, I would encourage each of you to remember the
words of Martin Luther King as he wrote from a jail in Birmingham, Alabama: "We
are caught in an inescapable web of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny.
Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly." If this statement is true, as I believe it to be, the implication is that we must resist the politics of division and hatred in which our only concern and empathy is with those who support and join our cause, and in which others are regarded as enemies to be overcome. This does not mean that you should defer to or attempt to appease the opponents of democracy in your country, but rather that you should remember that it is their positions and policies that you seek to defeat, and not the people themselves. The implication of this distinction is that the fundamental humanity of all people must be respected, which rules out the use of violence or any form of degrading or demeaning attack, even in words, directed toward those with whom you disagree at this time.
Undoubtedly, you have already found that some of your members are well-versed
in the more substantive conceptual aspects of freedom and democracy and human
rights, while other members may only be caught up in their sense of the excitement
and adventure of rebellion and supporting a cause. Many who participated in various
American protest movements were well-informed and committed to their causes, but
it is also true that many were simply bored or dissatisfied young people for whom the
demonstrations and confrontations provided an outlet for their personal frustrations or a source of entertainment and a sense of belonging that they otherwise lacked in their lives.
In order to convince adversaries to listen to one’s perspective, it is necessary to be willing also to listen to and learn about their perspective. Positions and policies are not defeated by how loud and angry our voices of protest can be, but rather by how logical and convincing our reason is in undermining those positions and policies. In other words, to refute an idea, it is first necessary to understand it, which means learning about its background and history and the motives of those who subscribe to it and the positive and negative implications of adhering to that idea. Only then does it become possible to argue against the idea in a systematic, rational, and powerful manner that will appeal to those who are willing to consider differing perspectives.
Accordingly, perhaps your movement will provide an opportunity for your student
leaders also to serve as teachers, providing an education beyond university walls for
many Taiwanese citizens and future political leaders. Many great thinkers before you
have grappled with the notions of freedom and democracy and independence; authors
as diverse as Aristotle, Thomas Jefferson, Voltaire, Walt Whitman, G. K. Chesterton,
John Kennedy, Ghandi, Paulo Freire, Allen Ginsberg, Noam Chomsky and countless
others have shared their thoughts about such ideals, and you can read and study their
eloquent words today for guidance and inspiration and to translate and share with
your fellow citizens.
Finally, I offer my best wishes to you as you seek to foster a Taiwanese society in
which all citizens can pursue their goals and dreams and live their daily lives in an
atmosphere free from fear and oppression. I hope you continue to be strong and
courageous in your pursuits, resisting any and all attempts to deny your basic human
rights such as freedom of speech, freedom of religion, freedom of assembly, freedom
to petition, and freedom of the press. I also hope your movement will seek to achieve
its worthy goals, as much as possible without compromising the essential quest for
liberty and democracy, in a spirit of cooperation and inclusion and harmony with all
other citizens of Taiwan, including those with whom you may have disagreements at
this time, while remembering that it is not only the right but also the responsibility of citizens in a democracy to speak out against and non-violently resist any attempts by government to suppress or revoke such rights.
By William Lowther
STAFF REPORTER , WASHINGTON
Saturday, Dec 06, 2008, Page 1
Amnesty International has issued a thinly disguised warning to President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九), urging him not to use excessive police force to control and break up the unauthorized protest march planned for tomorrow by the “Wild Strawberry” student movement. (more)
The sequence of events is quite predictable. Organizations such as Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and Reporters Without Borders determine that there is a consistent pattern of inappropriate governance or other misuse of power. Letters and reports are written, politicians are lobbied and media outlets report and dissect the resulting debate. These labors set the stage for intervention by governments of influence or their envoys, most of whom act quite conservatively until a battery of facts is available.
Taiwan has now reached the unfortunate point of being on the watch list for rights groups, and not just those interested in the fate of a former president. ... (more)
The government yesterday answered a long-standing call by activists to scrap police powers to grant or deny protest permits, but offered the police instead new powers to bar or alter demonstration plans in certain cases.
The proposal to amend the Assembly and Parade Law (集會遊行法) approved at the weekly Cabinet meeting was described in a statement as “a big step forward in the nation’s development of democracy and the rule of law.” ...
[China Post] Assembly act to be amended
TAIPEI, Taiwan -- No police permission is necessary to stage a rally, according to an amendment to the assembly act the Cabinet adopted yesterday.
Under the current act, organizers have to file applications with police at least six days before the rally is to take place. Police permission is required. ...
[Taiwan News] Taiwan Cabinet approves to lift restrictions on protests
The cabinet approved changes in the Parade and Assembly Law yesterday in a concession to protesting students, while also rolling out the welcome mat for students from China. Protesters will no longer have to apply for approval from the police for their event, a key demand of students who have been holding a continuous sit-in in Taipei since Nov. 6. Their action was sparked by alleged police brutality during protests against the visit of Chinese envoy Chen Yunlin. ...
Protesters will no longer have to apply for approval from the police for their event, a key demand of students who have been holding a continuous sit-in in Taipei since Nov. 6. Their action was sparked by alleged police brutality during protests against the visit of Chinese envoy Chen Yunlin. ...
At the end, the left residents , about 40 persons, had been related another area at the top edge of the hill slope angle, MAT company made Residents and the left 25 monuments buildings was surrounded by layers of barbed wire, as well as the rapid transit bulldozers began to dismantle 6 monuments buildings in plan.
An old man with a weak voice, he said, "We see the fence surrounded by bulldozers and barbed wire, I thought we had just been arrested in 1949 into Lo-Sheng Sanatorium, at that time, here was also full isolation by barbed wire, bullets. After 60 years, today we face the similar situation.” (Full Text)
5 Dec 2008
GIO officer Shi responded lightly to the suggestion of investigating the riot incident during Chen's visit from Freedom House, an American human right organization, on December 2. He only agreed to strengthen the police training. The wild strawberries question this response. It is obvious that the response admitted the fault of the police, but why GIO only said about strengthening the training and avoided an apology? And what exactly is the training project? What to strengthen? The skill of evacuating people and the media by shooting water? The wild strawberry strongly reprimands the play of the word by the Ma government.
It is obvious to see that Ma's government still would not confront the issue of police abused rights honestly, avoiding their responsibilities in serving the public, and have shifted the blame squarely on to the violoent protests which broke out on the last evening of Chen's visit. They argued that the fact some DPP members would like to offer reward for those who would egg wash Chen together with previous envoy Chang's incident meant Police have the rights to abuse their power. We despises a government which only looks after interest of the police and corporates whilst refusing to look after it's people.
Wild Strawberries movement has never swayed from the initial three demands. President Ma and Premier Liu must apologise for the violent clashes erupted between protesters and the police, resignation from Director General of the National Police Agency and National Security Bureau, and lastly remove the need to apply for protest. We insist our government to uphold the responsibility of police abusing their rights, suppressing basic human rights during Chen's visit. Taiwanese citizens' freedoms are by right, stated in our constitution, should not be violated by government in anyway, including saving a "honored guests's reputation".
Officer Shi stated the citizens that were removed from the scene and those that have their flags taken had forced themselves into a restricted zone, it wasn't about whether they have carried a flag, they were not removed because police were refraining the Chinese envoy Chen from seeing the protesters. However from the witness accounts, those that did not carry a flag were able to freely move between all the zones. Moreover, the police at the scene were not able to state a single law to justify their behavior and often chose to keep quiet. This blatant expansion of police power would probably put those executing it in shame.