30 Nov 2008

[Taipei Times] Wild Strawberries plan rally without police permit

“Three weeks have passed [since we began demonstrating]. Our government has not shown any remorse but endorsed the use of excessive force by police,” Wild Strawberries spokesman Lo Shih-hsiang (羅士翔) said. “We are going to take this to the streets, to the Executive Yuan, the Legislative Yuan and the Presidential Office. We will step up together and show the government we will never stop defending human rights.”

Highlights of the rally on Ketagalan Boulevard will include a mock funeral procession to mourn the demise of human rights, Hsu said.

Students from Kaohsiung will carry a 2m bamboo puppet of Ma dressed in a military uniform to symbolize his “returning Taiwan to authoritarian rule,” said Yao Liang-yi (姚量議), a student from Kaohsiung.

Hsu said the public was welcome to join the rally, but that the movement would not tolerate violence or interference by any political parties.

“The tone of the movement has been non-violent and peaceful,” Hsu said, adding that students will ask that people remove any political symbols before joining the rally. (Full Text)

[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

Formosa Betrayed

Formosa Betrayed is a feature film detailing the murder investigation of a Taiwanese-American professor at a Midwestern college in the early 1980s. The detective assigned to the case is a young FBI agent looking forward to an exciting career serving the United States government. However, he must solve the case before he can move on.

In his search for the murderers and their accomplices, the agent learns that there is a student spy network which focuses on the political and social activities of Chinese and Taiwanese-American students on the campus. He discovers that these “student spies” are ubiquitous on college campuses in the United States where there are Chinese and Taiwanese students.(more)

Transitional Justice in Taiwan: An Austrian Perspective

Christian Schafferer

Vol. 6, No. 1, June 2007
ISSN 1684-629X

Sixty years ago, the Nationalist Chinese Army brutally killed several thousand civilians in Taiwan. After the massacre, the Chinese Nationalists under Chiang Kai-shek and his son Chiang Ching-kuo continued to rule Taiwan until 1988. During the Chiang era, tens of thousands of civilians were persecuted, tortured and killed.(more)

Live broadcast is going to switch to another platform

Dear all,

Due to the cease of Yahoo Live on Dec. 3, the live broadcast of Taipei spot is going to switch to http://zh-tw.justin.tv/action1106

Today (Nov. 30), both the old and the new platforms are available. It is expected to move to the new one on Monday (Dec. 1.)

[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