2 Dec 2008

[i-Report] Taiwan Wild Strawberries Movement

We are a group of students comprising students from universities all over Taiwan; we do not belong to any parties or political organizations before we joined wild strawberry.

Our generation in Taiwan is called the "strawberry" generation, meaning we are spoiled to be able to afford stress. However, today we stand out for a better future!

Today is our 25th day peaceful sit-in protest at the Liberty Square in Taipei (Former Chiang Kai Shek Memorial Hall).

Your supports are very crucial for us, we hope this document will help you understand our "democracy in danger" in Taiwan, an country next to Hong Kong, Japan, China and Philippine in East Asia. Please come to join our parade on 7th December 2008.

(i-Report Page)

San Diego's Taiwanese support WSM!

Many among Taiwanese in the U.S. are well educated but we are not arrogant. More often than not, we not only learn from each other but also from others outside of our group. For example, many of us have been learning from the WSM student protesters. Although young and inexperienced, they have proven to be quick learners, very determined and innovative. It is clear that they have won wide-spread support, in and out of Taiwan, of their movement.

In response to their call for support of their planned parade on Sunday, December 7, members of San Diego Taiwanese American community are planning to sponsor an event at San Diego Taiwan Center on December 7. We think these young people deserve our support and encouragement. Some other communities are doing the same.

Increasing number of us think that the baton has to be shared with and even passed on to the younger generation. The future of Taiwan are mostly in the hands of the freedom-loving young people of Taiwan.

To what you are doing in fighting for freedom and democracy, "BRAVO!" we shout.

--Ching-chih Chen, a retired college professor

"Shame on Government - Walk out Back Door"--Two protest stuents were captured by more than 20 police officiers

On December, 1st, 2008, Zhen Zhe-Xiou(鄭哲修) and Su Hung-Rung(蘇紘融), two of students in Wild Strawberries Movement (WSM), took peaceful and grave actions to accuse of the Taiwan government which had not ever responded directly to the three WSM appeals. Zhen(鄭哲修) studied in the Department of Mathematics at the National Taiwan University and Su (蘇紘融) studied in the Department of Educational Psychology and Counseling at the National Taiwan Normal University. These two students considered that the people, who refused to take political responsibility for limiting the freedom of speech and harming human rights during the Chen Yun-Lin's (陳 雲林) visit, were unworthy of crossing through the main entrance. Therefore, at 8:30 A.M on December, 1st, these two students silently laid at the main entrance of the Executive Yuan for protesting. Because they considered that the Executive Yuan rejected to hear Taiwanese people's voice and could not provide sound and suitable explanation to what Executive Yuan violated and overruled during the Chen's visit, they only could "silently laid" to express their anger.

WSM always held peace, rationality, and non-violence from the beginning. Zhen(鄭哲修) and Su(蘇紘融) only could actively take actions to let the Taiwan government perceive when the government was blind to the occurrence of human rights violations in Taiwan. Indeed, these two students' action was the best practice of the non-violent resistance.

However, in the beginning five minutes of Zhen(鄭哲修) and Su(蘇紘融)'s action, policemen/policewomen immediately warned their silent-lay. After two warns, these two students advocated, "Shame on government! Walk out back door!" and "No government apology for its illegal actions. Human rights lay and die in Executive Yuan." Under the circumstance of twenty policemen/policewomen surrounding, they were lifted into the police car and were taken for further investigation in the police department of the Zhongzheng First Police District, Taipei City . At last, this silent-lay protest only continued for ten minutes.

When knowing Zhen(鄭哲修) and Su(蘇紘融) were taken for further investigation in the police station, the WSM students instantly informed of and sought assistance for the Lawyer Lin (林峰正) of Judicial Reform Foundation. During the investigation, the police indicated that Zhen(鄭哲修) and Su(蘇紘融) violated The Social Order Maintenance Law Aritcle 68. item 2(第68條第2款). These two students kept silent, were unwilling to cooperate with the police's inquest, and refused to sign up the deposition record by policemen/policewomen. Ultimately, Zhen(鄭哲修) and Su(蘇紘融) left the police station accompanied with the Lawyer Lin (林峰正).

WSM completely supports Zhen(鄭哲修) and Su(蘇紘融)'s silent-lay action. WSM believes that they held the resolution for nonviolent resistance to confront potential national violence and their action was full of courage. In addition, WSM respects that the police administered the law. However, these two students have already taken legal responsibility which they probably have to face. The police administered its power based on The Social Order Maintenance Law Article 68. item 2(第68條第2款): the person who creates troubles for inhabitants, factories, companies, public places, and locations for public pass. WSM wants to ask. The entrance of the Executive Yuan is not only one. Zhen(鄭哲修) and Su(蘇紘融) did not obstacle entire traffic lanes and block any cars' passing. As a result, what kinds of troubles which these two student created break the harmony at the main entrance of the Executive Yuan?
In the past, there are some stories regarding the common people stating and pleading by stopping the officers sitting in sedan chair. Why do the common people, even two students, have no opportunity to express and protest at the main entrance of the Executive Yuan, particularly in this democratic Taiwan society? For tackling these two students of WSM, it is incredible that the Executive Yuan arranged twenty to thirty policemen/policewomen to surround two students and forcefully lift them away. Does this action represent the scholar leadership of Liou (Former president of NCTU)? If the government views the common people as the condemnable folks, one day, finally the people will spurn this government.

Going “Wild” on December 7th – Country without Violence, Strawberries March Foward

The Wild Strawberries Movement at Liberty Square held a meeting with representatives from all over Taiwan in preparation for the “Going ‘Wild’ on December 7th” rally. Wild Strawberries across the country will once again meet at Liberty Square for its strongest showing yet to counter the government’s arrogance and apathy thus far.

“Going ‘Wild’ on December 7th” is the theme of this rally. The month-long Wild Strawberries Movement would like to demonstrate its “wildness” to its supporters and the arrogant Administration; the Wild Strawberries have not given up and the movement has continued to grow. Since its inception, the Wild Strawberries have upheld the same pleas and ideals - “Apology [for rights violations], Resignation [of responsible officials], and Amendment [of Parade & Assembly Law]”. This rally will serve as an opportunity for Taiwanese citizens to experience the Wild Strawberries’ explosive strength and for the government to hear the consolidated angry voices of the Wild Strawberries. More importantly, the Wild Strawberries maintains its appeal that the government directly responds to the public and the Wild Strawberries, and stop state sanctioned power abuse.

The Wild Strawberries will only “voluntarily report” plans to hold the December 7th rally to law enforcement authorities instead of waiting for the ineffective Legislative Yuan to amend the Parade and Assembly Law’s approval requirement. The rally route will be provided to the Zhongzheng First District of the Taipei City Police Department in order for the police to direct traffic accordingly. We sincerely hope that law enforcement authorities will safeguard rather than trample on our freedom to assemble with violent tactics. The Wild Strawberries will also send out a team of individuals to maintain order.

The December 7th rally participants will consist of students for the most part, but also cordially invite all private citizens who support our endeavors. In addition to the students, academics and NGOs have signed up for the rally, with over a thousand expected rally participants. Students from the Wild Strawberries Movement will be responsible for maintaining order of the movement. We will hold a pre-rally press conference to explain the itinerary and to promote the principle of non-violent civil disobedience; our goal is to hold the rally under the principles of peace, rationality, and non-violence.

The route for the December 7th rally will begin with Liberty Square, and continue on to the National Police Agency, the Executive Yuan, the Legislative Yuan, and the Presidential Office. The Wild Strawberries will have different activities at each location. The “Country without Violence, Wild Strawberries March Forward” march will commence at 1 p.m. from Liberty Square and we look forward to your participation.