On eve of the October 25th protest in Taiwan
There’s going to be a huge rally in Taiwan today.
Protesters are going to rally against Ma Ying-jeou’s China-leaning policies, incompetent management of the economy and compromising Taiwan’s sovereignty. Apparently, Ma’s government has not taken any messages from people or professional advice on board since the last demonstration on 30th August. Rather, the speed of which Ma gave Taiwan’s sovereignty away to China has actually accelerated since. For example, after the toxic milk scandal, everyone is wary of Chinese products and imposing tight controls but Ma still vowed to move forward on accepting China’s standard in his Double Ten Day speech (i.e. he wants to accept whatever food products the Chinese government has passed). It’s estimated that the number of people turning up are going to be much bigger than the August 30th protest.
On the eve of this huge event, a number of youth groups with about 500 young people have already gathered in Freedom Square, staying overnight before the actual rally. Freddy Lim, Lead vocalist of the Taiwanese band ‘Chthonic’, and a famous political caricaturist were there and senior DPP figures, including the chairperson, Tsai Ing-wen, were also there to show their support. David has an article on this. http://blog.taiwan-guide.org/2008/10/dpp-rally-on-eve-of-1025-protest/
There are more photos in the following links:
There’s a clip of Freddy Lim’s speech.
The DPP has already got permission to stage a protest in the areas outlined in their announcement. However, a big archway was illegally set up by someone unknown in the mid of Kategalan Ave. blocking some space supposed to be for this rally. When two councilmen questioned the authority, no one could come up with any paperwork of permission granted for having that archway there. This affects the protesters rights’ to use that space.
However, when the councilmen went there and asked to take it down, they were stopped by a group of police by force. In the mid of the argument, a policeman kicked one of the councilmen. When a witness took out his camera and yelled ‘police attacked the councilman’, the policeman immediately hid behind his colleagues and ran away when the councilman demanded an investigation of this attack and asked for a line-up. The police then started pushing supporters away but accused the supporters of pushing them. In the end, the councilmen told angry protesters to calm down and leave it to them to deal with the situation. Here’s a clip of this confrontation. http://vivataiwantv.blogspot.com/2008/10/1025_25.html