Taking it to far or not?

A massive amount of students were demonstrating in the capital of Taiwan (Taipei) to protest against a trade pact with China known as the Cross-Strait Service Trade Agreement (CSSTA), with hundreds of these students storming, yelling towards the parliament buildings. They have been occupying the chamber since Tuesday, using chairs, desk, and other office items to barricade themselves in while they demand an audience with The President Ma Ying-Jeou. I understand the intent of what the Taiwanese people are standing for, however there has to be a line drawned between right and wrong. No matter how one may feel about an issue, topic and or decision, there is no need to destroy property and or cause harm to any establishment. I feel as for how the Taiwanese citizens went about conducting themselves up to this point was uncalled for. As you may see in the video, there is footage of a gate being detached by angry students who in which do this in hopes of obtaining the attention of the current President in office. However due to the anger and objection due to the Cross-Strait Service Trade Agreement, no one was seriously injured in the protest at the parliament.

 

-Shurland

Red Shirts x Sunflower Movement

Red Shirts

Why so many red shirts? The Sunflower Movement was not the first movement of a better way of life in which was derived from turmoil in the land of Taiwan. To begin with,  in contrast, it seems to me a more fruitful comparison with the Red Shirts anti corruption protests of  mid 2006. The current protests are the largest organized events Taiwan has seen since the Red Shirts. Both of these extremely powerful movements occurred after over six years of the government being in office and at a time when the sitting presidents were significantly unpopular and had been unpopular for a lenghty period of time. Another substantial similarity is that in both of these cases there has been no legitimate reflection on the protestors’ demands by government or any attempts to engage in dialogue with the protestors. In both of these cases, the President at the time had increasingly appeared to be known as the “Lame Duck” president. Naturally there are significant differences. The Red Shirts were largely a top down movement, led by politicians rather than social movement activists such as students and average citizens. The question of the day is whether the movements will see similar conclusions and consequences?

-Shurland

 

 

Defend x Sunflower Movement

Other than the fact of shedding light on a poorly crafted and possibly destructful services trade pact with China, Taiwan’s Sunflower Movement has performed an extraordinary, if under-appreciated, service to the country by sparking a necessary societal debate on the meaning of democracy. This movement has open many doors and ideology as to what the term “Democracy” means. Jovially, the vast majority of the Sunflowers’ critics, both in the West and various parts of Asia, have used “democracy” and “rule of law” as a weapon with which to discredit the activists’ nearly three-week occupation of the Legislative Yuan. While conceding the possibility that the movement’s ideals might have been laudable, the critics often expressed strong disagreement with the “illegal” techniques adopted to pressure the government. Many may disagree with that definition of the hot word of the day “Democracy” and seek to expand the nature of it to what is sometimes referred to as positive freedom in which Jonathan Schell defines as “the capacity to participate in political life. The Democracy of Taiwan has become an illusion used and abused by both the powers that be and by those who have no pity in seeing the democratic miracle slowly descend into soft dictatorship. Of course Taipei can reply to the objections with the law and put the leadership behind bars with strong support from a number of people in Taiwan and abroad. After all, they did break the law to include several other dissidents worldwide, some of these people include Liu Xiaobo. But the government has broken its contract with society, and consequently the law has become an instrument of repression.

 

-Shurland

 

 

 

The World x Sunflower Movement

Rallies! Rallies! and did I forget to mention Rallies! They have been held in Berlin, London, Madrid, Stockholm, Zurich, Edinburgh, Frankfurt, Vienna, Australia, Japan Canada and the United States of America. Many Taiwanese students and refugees in 49 cities across 21 countries organized rallies timed in sync with Sunday’s demonstration in Taipei, as part of a global networking campaign to support the “Sunflower student movement.” This substantial effort was dubbed the “24-Hour Relay Across the Globe in Support of Taiwan,” the worldwide rallies saw Taiwanese and other participants shouting the same slogans as their counterparts in Taipei: “Protecting Taiwan’s Democracy,” and “Withdraw the Trade Deal,” which gained press coverage and wide circulation among online social media. Various students held up placards in which read: “Taiwan is not for sale,” “Transparency, Democracy and National Security for Taiwan” in support of the movement which started with protesters occupying the legislature in Taipei on March 18. On a Sunday morning, the rally commeneced in New Zealand and Australia in which began the World Wide Networking rally. Some other locations included Sydney, Auckland, Brisbane, Canberra, Adelaide and various other locations. Taiwanese students and refugees who currently dwell in Tokyo, Japan were joined by their Japanese friends to call for the withdrawal of the cross-strait pact, shouting slogans in support of the Sunflower movement. Due to currently living in Japan I got to experience this first hand and the energy was very refreshing and motivating at the same time. 

 

-Shurland

 

 

 

Image

Sunflower Movement x Protest Songs

Sunflower Movement

In Taiwan, its at the point in which the current protests are to build the awareness of the appearance of a unified and more clearly articulated definition of what it means to be a Taiwanese citizen. Walking the streets of Taiwan, you may hear some of their citizens chanting songs in support of the the protest in which disapproves with the Cross-Straight Service Trade. In simple this trade is speculated to destroy the Taiwanese economy leaving them vulnerable to the crumbling of their economy. The magnitude of the human language and voice is a substantial symbol of the thoughts of an individual’s feelings and has often moved the development of community and social culture. Many students and citizens  chant some very heartfelt words to build the Taiwanese pride. These songs are in awareness with the Sunflower Movement as for why you may see various students and citizens wearing Sunflowers along with their attire. By promoting these songs using the social media in the form of videos, anyone who understands the Taiwanese movements is able to watch and learn the songs and in so doing are able to express their identification with the movement and their acceptance of the new identity which is surfacing. 

 

-Shurland