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Sunday, December 07, 2008


Will the world be watching?

Let's see what Mr. Ma is made of


At 12 noon on Sunday, December 7, 2008, starting from Taipei, Taiwan's Liberty Square (自由廣場), the student movement known as the Wild StrawBerries are planning a peaceful march to reiterate the following most-reasonable demands [edited for formatting, clarity, spelling, and completeness]:
1. President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) and Premier Liu Chao-shiuan (劉兆玄) must publicly apologize to all citizens [for creating the situation which allowed the police to treat protesters the way they did during Chen Yunlin's (陳雲林) visit to Taiwan].

2. National Police Agency (NPA) Director-General Wang Cho-chiun (王卓鈞) and National Security Bureau Director Tsai Chao-ming (蔡朝明) must step down [to take responsibility for the police brutality that occurred as a result of the massive police presence].

3. The Legislative Yuan (行政院) must revise the Parade and Assembly Law (集會遊行法), which currently restricts the rights of the people [and which are set to become even more repressive early in 2009]. [This is basically a simple demand for ""Freedom of Assembly."]
Anyone who agrees to wear black, to refrain from displaying any partisan slogans, and to refrain being violent is welcome to attend this protest. Since permission to hold this protest was denied the group hasn't even applied for permission (but have instead voluntarily reported the activity to police, in line with how they want the Parade and Assembly Law [集會遊行法] to be modified), it will therefore be an act of civil disobedience.

Even if you don't attend, please sign the Wild StrawBerries' online petition if you want democracy in Taiwan to remain within reach. It has already slipped way too far backward since the Ma administration took office on May 20, 2008.

Who else has got their backs?
The Ma government has come under heavy criticism from many international human rights groups, including Amnesty International, Freedom House, Human Rights Watch, the International Federation for Human Rights, Reporters Without Borders, and others. Protests will also be taking place in Tokyo and Paris on Sunday in support of the Wild StrawBerries. Please support them any way you can.


* Watch the Wild StrawBerries practicing peaceful resistance (live on Justin.tv)

* The Wild StrawBerries' English blog

* The Wild StrawBerries' (野草莓運動) Mandarin blog

* A post by David Reid with images, links, and more details

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Cross-posted at It's Not Democracy, It's A Conspiracy!

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At 8:24 AM, Blogger Adam said...

I have already signed the online petition and went to see and encourage the strawberries personally. I might make it today, but I have some other obligations.
Could you clear something up for me? I thought the strawberries didn't apply for a permit to make it an intentional act of civil disobedience. If they applied, what was the reason given for rejecting their application.
Go Strawberries!!!!

At 4:28 PM, Blogger Tim Maddog said...

Adam, I thought I had read otherwise somewhere, but you're right.

I've made corrections above and in the post on my personal blog.

And thanks for signing the petition.

Tim Maddog

At 10:10 PM, Blogger Adam said...

I keep seeing stats about how few applications for protests are rejected, but I think a lot of groups don't bother applying for a permit because they have to leave a hefty deposit. This particularly leaves small environmental and labor organizations at the mercy of the police.
I read that recently an environmental organization- environmental action net or something like that, applied for a protest permit and was rejected. The police said that another group already had an event planned for that day. Seemed kind of suspicious to me.

At 4:34 PM, Blogger MikeinTaipei said...


Among the human rights organizations you list as having pressured the Ma Ying-jeou administration is Human Rights Watch ... however, I see that their Web site has removed Taiwan from its list of countries and cannot find any comment they may have made about Dec. 7 - prior to, or after the event. They also never replied to the letter I sent them about the turn of events in Taiwan.


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