A Poem for #CongressOccupied Protesters in Taiwan

A protester in #CongressOccupied. Kong Fu Panda, a reporter at UDN.com, has granted Global Voices permission to republish. CC: NC.

A protester at #CongressOccupied. Photo by Kong Fu Panda, a reporter at UDN.com. Republished by Global Voices with permission.

Protests at Taiwan's legislature, known as the Legislative Yuan, against the decision to pass the highly controversial Cross-Strait Service Trade Agreement with China has gained support from artist circles.

Hung Hung [zh], a poet, film director and artist, dedicated a poem to the protesters called “A song for the violent protesters – Upon hearing the media and legislators call the protesting students at #CongressOccupied mobs”. Hung Hung read the poem to crowds outside the Legislative Yuan and reposted it on Facebook. It has been shared more than 800 times:

Hung Hung reading his poem in the public gathering outside legislative yuan in Taipei. Photo from Hung Hung's Facebook

Hung Hung reading his poem to crowds outside the Legislative Yuan in Taipei. Photo from Hung Hung's Facebook


We are coming, when the summer is coming
Our footsteps can be soft, our footsteps can be firm
Our sounds can be beautiful, our sounds can be hoarse
Our fists can be raised up toward the sky, our fists can be raised up against injustice
Our hearts can be as red as blood, our hearts can be as green as the grass
When we cross the wall and occupy this street, this square and this fortress
When others consider this place an ATM, a megaphone, or a fire escape
We consider this place a warm cradle, a rice field and a recording room for our future songs
We sing, yes, we sing
We sing to occupy a country that is supposed to belong to us
We sing to occupy a government that is supposed to protect us
We sing to occupy a palace that is supposed to support our living
We transform it from a tomb into a womb, from a trash pile into a fruit garden, from a hell into a paradise
Paradise might sound too luxurious
We lower our eyelids and would like to consider this place home for us
Tonight, strangers like you and I become a diverse family
Tonight, we are willing to be violent mobs for love
Like those farmers protesting on May 20*
Like those students standing in Tiananmen Square on June 4**
Like those holding Formosa as their horns***
Like those violent mobs changing the world with the wild lily† and jasmine††
Like Cheng Nan-Jung††† using self-immolation as a weapon
But tonight, we do not burn ourselves
We light up this extremely cold winter night
So that summer will come to us by next dawn

*the 520 Farmer's Protest happened in 1988 in Taiwan against an agricultural free trade agreement. It ended in violent confrontation with 130 protesters arrested and 96 prosecuted.

**refers to the 1989 student movement in Beijing that resulted in a violent crackdown on peaceful protesters.

***refers to the Formosa Magazine Incident of 1979 in Kaohsiung, which resulted in large-scale prosecution of local political forces.

†refers to the Wild Lily student movement of 1990 in Taipei Liberty square. The movement eventually ended martial law and one-party rule in Taiwan.

††refers to a series of protests and uprisings known as the Arab Spring from 2010 to present.

†††Cheng Nan-Jung burned himself to death in April 1989 demanding freedom of speech in Taiwan.


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