Taiwan: Defending Rights to Protest

Following David's article on “The Phantom of Police State” coming back with Chen Yun-lin (陳雲林)'s visit to Taiwan on 3 of Nov, I have collected some visual materials showing the conflict between the protesters and police with brief translation.

Since Nov 3rd, many protesters wearing pro-Taiwan T-shirt or banners or waving the ROC national flag have been harassed by the police, and some of them were wounded. To the extent that people playing Taiwanese songs (Sunrise records, 上揚唱片) were disrupted with force, and a cup of coffee became all too dangerous.


Manuscript translation:

Unlawful object: drinks?
When do citizens lost our rights to walk around with drinks on our hands?
Is it lawful for the police to push citizens toward the wall?
Is a cup of drinks a dangerous item now?

A group of motorcyclists waving the ROC national flag and Tibet flag were stopped by the police without any explanation.

When seeing the pro-Taiwan banner (“Taiwan is Taiwan”), the police (?) ran to the spot and took the banner away.
The protesters asked “This is our hotel room, and this banner is our property. Who gives you the right to come in and take our banners?”

Protesters said “We are Taiwanese. Why can't we express our opinions?”
Protesters asked the police “What's the problem with our national flag?”
After the police took and damaged these flags, the reporters asked the police “Isn't it wrong to damage our national flag?”

Defending rights to protest

Facing these incidents, Carolina thought Taiwan President Ma Ying-Jeou should take the responsibility.

在滿街的旗幟被拔走,民眾持旗被沒收的錯愕中,馬英九今天還唬爛說他絕對沒有下令撤旗。

When the (national) flags and banners on the streets were taken away and people holding these flags were shocked, Ma Ying-Jeou lied that he absolutely did not give orders to remove the (national) flags.

OJ is also very disappointed with the current government.

當我們看到我們的政府是這樣對待自己的人民,我們真的只能很心寒地覺悟了…那些好不容易爭取來的民主法制、人權價值,都被這個自我作賤的政府給徹底丟棄了。

Seeing our government treat our people in this way, we bitterly realize that…the democracy and human rights are thrown away by this shameful government.

However, citizens prepare to fight back, non-violently. Francais asked citizens to collect evidence if they see these incidents.

今年12月的國際人權日,亞裔人權團體將會在巴黎集體發聲,我們原本只是想要再次聲討中國對台灣的打壓,沒想到,自己的政府被打出獨裁專政原形,台灣正式列入人權受危害的國家。因此,我們想請大家集思廣益,提供馬政府上任後種種侵害人權的事件,我們會整理後在國際人權日的活動上,一起向國際媒體揭露。很遺憾,眼睜睜看台灣的沈淪,這卻是我們唯一可以做的;也請大家各自努力。

Asian human rights groups will gather and voice on the Human Right Day this December. We thought we would denounce the repression of Taiwan from China. However, our own government shows their dictatorship, and Taiwan is formally listed as a country whose human rights are endangered now. We appeal for gathering information about incidents that endanger human rights after President Ma inaugurated. We will put them together and reveal them to the international media. I am sorry that when we see the degradation of Taiwan, this is the only thing we can do. We should work hard now.

28 comments

  • Howard

    When you saw people throwing stone and egges at the visiting mainlanders and police, and bloodily beating the police with sticks in the street of Taipei, you get to understand what “democracy” means in the mind of some Taiwanese – It is actually ugly “Anarchy” under the beatiful cover of “substandard democracy”…hehe

  • Howard

    To Mr. JJ Huang:

    [… Then one may ask: Tibetans are not Chinese, why is Tibet an inseparable part of China as claimed by Chinese? A confusing paradox it may seem, Chinese would not think so…]

    Here I dont agree with you. People live in China, whether Tibetans, Han, Hui muslims, Korean, Mongolian, Manchu, Uighur muslims, or Kazak, are all Chinese, despite 90%+ of Chinese are ethnically Han. and most of people live in Taiwan are also ethnically Han.

    […When freedom of speech and assembly is violated by KMT illegally, Taiwanese must come forward with strong protests and let their voices be clearly heard. It is the rights of Taiwanese to protect themselves…]

    You can raise your questions or charges to proper forum, such as your court, against any violations of freedom of speech and assembly, even you can file an impeachment case in the congress. That is the right way, say, a duo process with respect to law. Just like the case of former president Chen, which should be exposed and judged by legel processes, rather than protests or street fights.

    Just my 2 cents, for your reference.

  • Ma

    I agree with JJ huang’s opinion as well as ifan’s viewpoint. No matter what side to be taken, rights of free expression and protest cannot be taken away whatsoever. If the police officials did not disapprove so many application of protest in advance, the whole story might be different. The first day’s police action to take away citizen’s belonging(the flag) and prohibit our speech in the public surely is a cause of a series of protest later on.

  • Anyone who has the willing to translate the claim of the sit-in students?
    God bless them.

  • knights

    Chen Shui Fang (as fangs of a vampire) sucked your blood/money dried. .. .hehehehehehe it’s amazing to see corrupting democracy!

  • ifan

    For all Taiwanese’ information:

    Here is the translation of the statement of the sit-in students: http://baladaily.blogspot.com/2008/11/account-of-executive-yuan-protest.html

    God bless them!

    To Howard,

    There were many things happening in the protest.

    I saw the police was ordered to remove the peaceful protesters forcefully, and I think this is something Chinese are used to: dictatorship.

    By the way, I do not think you have been to a protest that people try to claim human rights under repression. Your threshold for “anarchy” is too low, and I am worried that this is why you cannot have your rights unless you leave China.

  • knights

    “Chinese may not admit, but Taiwanese are clearly different from Chinese in many ways: humble, straightforward, friendly, shy, the look, and many more.”

    You mean like Chen Shui Fang and his rioting, looting, and murdering followers?! I agree they are very DIFFERENT from mainland Chinese.

    By the way, I asked one of my friends who looked somewhat like Shui to dress up as Chen Shui Fang in this past Halloween holiday ! Boy he looked just like Shui after the hair cut, the pulling of the eyelids with transparent tapes and the help with some make up, then the suite, the glasses, except he had vampire fangs on! I’d vote that as the best halloween custom!

  • Dave

    To ifan,
    Thanks for your updated info.
    Btw, don’t waste your time on those chinese who can never understand the differences between nationality, ethnicity, and language. They even call the Korean chinese!!! What surprises me the most is to hear those chinese who’ve given up their chinese nationality to become americans asking Taiwanese to be chinese. Maybe we are too “low-life” to understand their “high-life” logic…

  • hi

    sad days ahead for taiwan.. i cant believe our own roc police rip up our own roc flag…i believe working peacefully with china is a good thing but not be able to have our own flag, thats way too much. thats losing way too much face..

  • […] the current Parade and Assembly Law (集會遊行法). The government abusive use of the law has violated people's rights in protest in the past few days during the visit of Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Strait (ARATS) […]

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