19 Nov 2008

Nov 18th Press Release from the Wild Strawberries Movement

The Executive Yuan has raised the issue of revisions to the Parade and Assembly Law recently. However, the new version adopts a “compulsory registration system” whose content preserves restrictions including “assembling without registration is illegal”, “establishing forbidden areas”, “police have the right to alter the time, place, and form of the parade”, “the police can command dissolution of the parade without explicit standards”, and “the criminal and administrative sanctions relating to assembly”. Namely, the revision contains no practical improvements, only the change of name from “permission” to “registration”.

The Wild Strawberries question the statements President Ma made few days ago. What did he imply about the “registration system”? Is it compulsory or voluntary? Or is it that President Ma cannot distinguish between these two completely different systems?

The Wild Strawberries Movement cannot accept the revision. Initially, all the revisions proposed by KMT legislators Chu Feng-tz (朱鳳芝) and Cheng Li-wen (鄭麗文), as well as members of the DPP, were aimed at a voluntary registration system, but these were dropped from the final revisions. The Wild Strawberries urge both parties to support a voluntary registration system.

The Internal Affairs Committee of the Legislative Yuan will draw up modifications of the Parade and Assembly Law on November 19th. In order to supervise the Legislative Yuan’s procedures, the Taiwan Association for Human Rights will hold a large assembly at 8:45 am tomorrow in front of Legislative Yuan (No.1, Chungshan S. Rd). They intend to besiege the Legislative Yuan, and make a detour each hour. Further, there will be a farewell ceremony for the Assembly and Parade Law on 10 o’clock. The activity is expected to be held for at least half, if not the whole day, and the students involved in the Wild Strawberries Movement will come out to support this activity.

The Wild Strawberries want to stress that they never raise funds outside of Liberty Square (自由廣場), for there have been individuals going around Taipei raising money pretending to be Wild Strawberries. Please do not give money to anyone outside of the Liberty Square Demonstration.

[Taipei Times] Alternative referendum necessary

By Cho Hui-wan 卓慧菀

Thursday, Feb 21, 2008, Page 8

The US is reportedly continuing to put strong pressure on the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) and even both parties' presidential candidates in the hope of stopping both the DPP's referendum on applying for UN membership as a new member under the name "Taiwan," and the KMT's referendum on returning to the UN under any practical name.

The two referendums have already harmed cross-strait relations and lead to a new low point in US-Taiwan relations. It is time for the DPP and KMT to reconsider. The two parties should negotiate and then let the legislature come up with a new referendum proposal to replace the proposals now before us.

The new proposal could ask: "Based on every person's human right to participate in international cooperation through their government, and the UN's principle of universality established on this right, do you agree that the UN should not exclude Taiwan?"

The main difference between this proposal and the two proposed referendums is the actor. In the DPP and KMT versions, the actor is Taiwan; in the new proposal, it's the UN. Through such wording, the Taiwanese could clearly tell the international community that the UN should not exclude Taiwan.

Some might ask what the logic is in holding a referendum about the actions of the UN? But if Taiwan wants to be a member of the world body, it not only needs to apply for membership, the UN also has to agree to let Taiwan in. President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) has said that even if a referendum on UN membership passes, it does not mean that Taiwan will be granted membership. (Full Text)

[Taipei Times] Oct 27 Hunger strike continues at the Legislative Yuan

By Flora Wang STAFF REPORTER Monday, Oct 27, 2008, Page 3

Several pro-localization activists led by the Taiwan Association of University Professors (TAUP) continued their hunger strike in front of the legislature yesterday.

Wearing black T-shirts with the slogans “Taiwan is my country” and “Love Made in Taiwan,” the protesters are demanding an amendment to the Referendum Law (公投法).

The law, enacted by the Chinese Nationalist Party-dominated (KMT) legislature in 2003, stipulates that the number of signatures required for a referendum proposal to be reviewed is 0.5 percent of the voters who participated in the most recent presidential election — or approximately 80,000 individuals — with an additional 5 percent signatures from the population needed for a referendum to be held.

The law has long been criticized by the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) as a “bird cage” law. The DPP has made several attempts to have the law amended over the past several years, but its proposals never clear the legislative floor.

The protesters began the hunger strike after participating in the opposition rally on Ketagalan Boulevard on Saturday. They have remained in front of the legislature since, with posters written in Chinese, Japanese and English demanding an amendment to the Referendum Law.

“I’m protesting against the Legislative Yuan by staging a hunger strike,” TAUP chairman Tsai Ting-kuei (蔡丁貴) said. “I will stay here until the law is amended.”

Tsai called for changes to the high thresholds stipulated in the law for a referendum to be passed.

A participant at the hunger strike surnamed Chueh (闕) said that everyone in Taiwan should stand up and oppose the KMT administration’s pro-China policy, saying it was “a matter of life and death.” (Original Page)

[David on Formosa] Hunger strike for referendum law amendment

The Taiwan Association of University Professors is currently staging a hunger strike in Jinan Road, Taipei next to the Legislative Yuan. The hunger strike began on Saturday evening after the 1025 Safeguard Taiwan protest that drew half a million people. (Full Text)

Photos on Flickr

[On-going social activity] [TAUP hunger strike sit-in] appeal to the governent to amend the referendum law

Dear readers,
Thanks for your attention and patience on Wild Strawberries Movement for days. In fact, there are a group of profs. from Taiwan Association of University Professors who have been sitting in the Quen-Xian Building (群賢樓) in Legislative Yuan for 15 days too. They request the Yuan to revise and modify the referendum law. Referendum: noun [C] (FORMAL plebiscite) a vote in which all the people in a country or an area are asked to give their opinion about or decide an important political or social question. (Cambridge Dictionary)
I would like to draw you attention on this on-going social activity which is relevant to the revolution should be done in Taiwan as well. If you only want to know about the Wild Strawberries Movement, please feel free to skip this section. However, if you care about Taiwan, this is a good chance to have a further look. Furthermore, the headquarter of Wild Strawberries Movement is so far still very focusing on our three requests. Therefore, This section is only appeared on this blog.
Thanks for your understanding! Hope I inform you sufficiently! Same as the founding of our movement, I also need some volunteers to help with collecting and translating relevant articles on on-going social activities. Please write to taiwanstudentmovement2008@gmail.com

Best to you and to Taiwan,

The Wind of Change

Rest for a while and listen to it:

People remember, there is a constitution:

The president feels suddenly the need of a free press:

Journalists demand this right:

Do I hear justice?

Are there more miracles to expect if the protests continue?

Of course, there are still some of the old moral lessons, which encourage young people to work hard and become a good slave for lets call it THE SYSTEM (oh, actually that is the part they usually do not tell the people):

But listen to the Wind of change, the song of the fall of the Berlin Wall.

The value of a human life.

There is no philosophical discussion needed as it can be be quantified in Taiwan by an exact number:

NT$ 110,000


If someone has further comments on the human right of health-care and medical treatment, he or she shall feel free to speak.

The health system speaks for itself!