Taiwanese community in Melbourne shows support for Sunflower Movement

330 action in Melbourne in support of Taiwan's Sunflower Movement

About 500 members of the Taiwanese community rallied outside the State Library in Melbourne yesterday. The rally was part of a worldwide action with other events taking place in major cities of Australia, Europe, Asia and North America to show solidarity with Taiwan’s Sunflower Movement.

At the same time as the event in Melbourne a crowd estimated at 350,000 was turning out in Taipei. This represented a massive show of public support for the student-led Sunflower Movement which has occupied the Legislative Yuan in Taipei since 18 March. The movement’s key aim is to ensure that the Cross-Strait Service and Trade Agreement (CSSTA) and other agreements with China are subject to proper scrutiny by the legislature. Continue reading

Hagay community protests against impacts of Baling Dam

Hagay community protests outside Executive Yuan

Members of the Atayal community of Hagay (哈凱部落) protested outside the Executive Yuan in Taipei today. They called on the government to provide permanent housing to replace the temporary housing they have been living in for ten years. They also called on the government to take responsibility for the impacts of the construction of the Baling Dam in the catchment of the Shimen Reservoir.

The Hagay community originally lived in a remote location in Fuxing Township of Taoyuan County (桃園縣復興鄉). About twenty years ago the community decided to move to a new location near the Baling Bridge (巴陵橋) on the Northern Cross Island Highway to make it easier for the children to get to school. Continue reading

Thousands march in anti-petrochemical protest in Taipei

Anti-petrochemical protest in Taipei

Thousands of people* marched through Taipei in a protest against the expansion of the petrochemical industry. They shouted “Oppose Kuokuang, save Taiwan!” (反國光,救台灣) as they marched. This was in reference to the Kuokuang Petrochemical Plant which is slated to be built off the coast of Changhua County.

DPP politicians at protest

Large contigents travelled to Taipei from Changhua and Yunlin counties to join the protest. Many of them were mobilised by the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP). The photo above shows Liu Chien Kuo (劉建國), a DPP legislator from Yunlin County, Tien Chiu-chin (田秋堇), a DPP legislator, and Su Chih-fen (蘇治芬), Yunlin County Commissioner, leading a section of the march. Continue reading

314 Tibet protest in Taipei

More than 1,000 people marched through the East District of Taipei today to mark the 51st anniversary of the Tibetan Uprising. The date of 14 March also commemorates the protests in Tibet in 2008 that were met with bloody repression. Members of the Tibetan community in Taiwan and various human rights groups participated in the march.

There were numerous speakers before the march started. Among them Freddy Lim who noted that a few years ago the numbers joining the annual march were very small, but in the last few years it has become quite large. Other speakers included DPP legislator Chen Jie-ru (陳節如) and President of Taiwan Friends of Tibet Chow Mei-li (周美里). Continue reading

517: DPP reclaim the streets

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Hundreds of thousands# of people took to the streets of Taipei and Kaohsiung today for the DPP’s 517 rally. The rally marked the one year anniversary of President Ma Ying-jeou taking office. During this time there has been the financial crisis, rising unemployment and concerns that closer ties to China were at the expense of Taiwan’s sovereignty. The event had four themes: safeguarding sovereignty, referendum on ECFA, help for the unemployed and assisting the disadvantaged.

In the days before the protest the DPP created an English language blog (perhaps in response to this criticism). A translation of Tsai Ing-wen’s open letter on the blog provides a clear and eloquent explanation of the rationale for the march. Sometimes the slogans are overly simplistic and don’t fully communicate the issues. Continue reading

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. Continue reading

Thousands march for Tibet in Taipei

Free Tibeb protester in Taipei

Three thousand people marched through the  streets of Taipei today to mark the fiftieth anniversary of the Tibetan Uprising which was on 10 March. Today also marked one year since major protests in Tibet which led to a brutal crackdown by the Chinese government. The march, which began at Zhongxiao Fuxing MRT Station, was led by Tibetans living in Taiwan and Taiwan Friends of Tibet. A wide range of groups participated including the Presbyterian Church, Cheng Nan-jung Foundation and the DPP.

free tibet panda and freddy lim in taipei

Members of Guts United (逆轉本部), including Freddy Lim, marched with a person dressed in a panda suit. Some of them wore t-shirts saying “Panda is from Tibet”. Continue reading

310 Tibet action in Taipei

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At around 7:30 a group of Tibetans proudly flying their magnificent national flag marched into Freedom Square shouting “Free Tibet!” This marked the start of the Taipei event to mark the 50th anniversary of the Tibetan Uprising.

His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s representative in Taiwan, Dawa Tsering, spoke about the many difficulties Tibetans faced in Tibet and how Tibetan culture and language were threatened by the policies of the Chinese government. He said the current situation in Tibet is like martial law. Continue reading