Saturday, January 26, 2013

,

Taiwan independence protest in Taipei

1/26/2013 Taiwan Explorer
When my wife and I were walking towards the Ximen MRT Station earlier today, I saw a group of people with banners repeatedly crossing that large intersection of Zhonghua and Chengdu Road. They were basically walking in circle; every time the green light went on, they marched to the other side - it was pretty impressive. I asked my wife who they were and she told me they are part of the Taiwan independence movement. I took few pictures of them, before we disappeared into the maze known as Taipei Metro.

Zhonghua Road divides Zhongzheng and Wanhua districts.

The banners were huge, everybody could read their message.

For those of you, who don't read Chinese, this is my wife's rough translation:

Light blue banner
台灣獨立 - Taiwan (should be) independent
大家都是台灣人 - Everybody is Taiwanese

Dark blue banner
保護你我共同的家園 - Protect our homeland together
住民自決建國 - Citizens (should have) self-determination to establish country

Red banner
住民自決建國 - Citizens (should have) self-determination to establish country
民主多元的社會 - Democratic and pluralistic society

Green banner
人民是有權力的主人 - People are the masters of the power
台灣獨立 - Taiwan (should be) independent
政府是有責任的公僕 - Government is the public servant, that has responsibility

This was a rather small protest, that won't be all over the news like the recent "Fury march", that gathered over 100000 people on the streets of Taipei. Nevertheless, I find it important to show how Taiwan's civil society works, when there is no media presence. Perhaps these images look trivial to some, but until we live in a part of the world, where protesters like these are quickly dispersed, taken away and abused by the police, we should not forget how important Taiwan's democracy actually is. It's not about whether you agree or disagree with what they say, it's about the very fact, that they have the freedom to express their political views and that you have the freedom to disagree.