During this series of events, we noted the strange situation that when people who were peacefully engaged in the aforementioned activities and were forced by policemen to stop, questioned the policemen about which laws and which regulations prevented them from carrying out peaceful protests, policemen were completely unable to answer. Instead, they could only make very ambiguous statements in reply.Thus, during the Chen Yunlin visit to Taiwan, draconian enforcement of the law caused the people to become opposed to the government and the police, and became a serious concern of the people of Taiwan. Thus, on Nov. 5, a group of college students and teachers, who are very much concerned that human rights and freedom of speech in Taiwan are being infringed by the government and the police, held a peaceful sit-down protest in many locations across Taiwan, covering the northern, central, and southern parts of the island to make public their concerns about the government’s indifference to Taiwan as an independent and sovereign country and to the human rights of the people of Taiwan. On Nov. 6, through the broadcast on the internet of this sit-in campaign, hundreds of students and teachers from different colleges in Taiwan came to join the sit-down protest in front of the Executive Yuan to let the Administration know their worries and concerns about the situation as it is currently unfolding in Taiwan. We all believe that personal rights and values should be beyond infringement by the government, beyond politics, and no matter which political party we support, we should all care about the situation in which the current Taiwan government infringes on individual rights. We further believe that we should make our concerns known to the current government to request their attention to these matters, so it can take the proper actions in responding to the concern and needs of the people of Taiwan. Our this sit-down protest continued for one day, until November 7 at 4:00PM, when the police used their authority to expel us from our location in front of the Executive Yuan.
Based on an earlier group decision, we gathered again at the Taiwan Democracy Memorial, formerly known as Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall, to begin the second state of the sit-ins. We decided not to apply for permission to hold a sit-in from the police, and we decided that this sit-down protest will continue for a long period, until the government makes the proper response to our requests, namely, that individual rights and freedoms should be protected by the government instead of being infringed by it. The reason why we decided not to ask for a permit to hold the protest was because we wanted to highlight the ridiculous situation under which individuals must apply to the government for permission to exercise their individual right to assemble freely and to speak freely. On November 9, again after a decision of the group, we decide to name these protests the “Wild Strawberry Sit-In”「野草莓學運」.The Wild Strawberry Sit-In Protests have three 3 major demands: First, President Ma and Premier Liu should apologize for the violent actions of the police during protests against the visit of China negotiator Chen Yunlin to Taiwan. Second, the director of National Police Agency, Ministry of the Interior Mr. Wang and Director General of National Security Bureau, Mr. Tsai should take responsibility for the improper actions of the police and resign from their positions. Finally, we demand that the government change the Assembly and Parade Law, a relic of the martial law era often used to curb public protest in Taiwan, to enable the people assemble at any time and place, requiring only notification to the police, not their permission.
The Wild Strawberry Sit-In Protests believe that the government should not use the excuse of a visit by an official of another nation to abuse the power given to them by the people to infringe on individual rights. Further, President Ma and Premier Liu should apologize to the people of Taiwan for the violence committed by policemen during Chen Yunlin’s visit to Taiwan, because as the leaders of the nation, their highest goal is to protect the people of Taiwan, not to infringe their individual rights and physical safety.
Wild Strawberry Sit-Down Protest considers that it is Director of General of National Security and Director of General of National Police Agency, who are planning the whole maintenance of peace this time. So they both should be responsible for the policemen infringe Taiwan people personal right and resign from their public employment.
Wild Strawberry Sit-Down Protest considers that the only way to solve this problem is that government should modify the current parade law from that the people need to do the registration and get approval from the police in advance, if the people want to do such a parade to let people do the parade at anytime and any place, when the people considers it to be necessary.
The Wild Strawberry Sit-In Protest:
Based on our three major demands, we insist on continuing this protest until we receive a positive response from the government.
We insist that the leader of the nation and the heads of the agencies listen to the voice of the people of Taiwan in humility and sincerity, to ensure that all the people of Taiwan can live together in peace and happiness.
Public employees who abuse their power and cause harm to the people of Taiwan should be punished according to the laws and regulations.
We hope that the government will listen to our voice and that the people of Taiwan will continue to support our protest.