Thousands protest rising unemployment

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About 10,000 people from labor unions and other groups joined a march protesting unemployment in Taipei today. Taiwan’s unemployment rate reached 5.8% in March. Many unions participated in the march. Youth and students also joined to express their concern about difficulty finding jobs after graduating and the low wages for part time work.

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The march began with the participants gathering at Freedom Square (自由廣場). They then marched along Ketagalan Boulevard and north to Zhongxiao West Road, before returning to Ketagalan Boulevard.

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On Zhongshan South Road beside the Control Yuan there was a huge line of riot police and barbed wire. A report from Monsters and Critics said:

About 100 protestors later attempted to break into the cabinet’s office to see Premier Liu Chao-shiuan and voice their dissatisfaction over what they claimed was government inaction to increase jobs in Taiwan.

They were stopped by hundreds of police who formed a human wall to prevent them from breaking in. No major violence, only pushing and minor scuffles, were reported.

I was at the back of the march and didn’t see what happened so I can’t comment on it. I can only say that the mobilisation of such a large number of police seemed excessive for a well organised peaceful protest marching along a defined route.

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The march concluded with more speeches. DPP legislator Gao Jhy-peng (高志鵬) came onto the stage to speak. Several people from the Youth Labor Union approached the stage and shouted at him to apologise. I am not sure exactly what their complaint against the DPP was. Gao did acknowledge the DPP made some mistakes while it was in government. No KMT legislators spoke at the event.

*More photos in the Labor Day protest set at flickr.

2 thoughts on “Thousands protest rising unemployment

  1. Very good captures, David. Long time since I come around to visit your blog

    Australia is expericing the same thing where Kevin Rudd wants to sack one in ten workers in immigration department

    Sounds like a problem everywhere

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