Free Speech In Taiwan

Taiwanese students in the U.S., trying to share these events in Taiwan with the world.

Campaigning Against Police Violence! Safeguarding Freedom and Human Rights!

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The scene in front of the Executive Yuan On November 6th was indeed one to
behold. Over 400 students and professors from different universities,
gathered to show their condemnation of inappropriate police conducts and the
violation of freedom of speech which has led to civilian injury in recent
events. Their request was simple:

1. Demand a formal apology from President Ma Ying-jeou and Premier Liu
   Chao-shiuan for abusing human rights.
2. Urge the Director-General of the National Police Agency, Wang Cho-chiun
   and the head of the National Security Bureau, Tsai Chao-ming, to stand down.
3. Request an immediate amendment of the Mass Gathering and Demonstration Act.

The students were spontaneous to form Disciplinary Patrol Units to maintain
order and tranquility, expressing their defiance through peaceful serene
protest. In order to sustain a clear focus on their cause, emblems and logos
of political parties were prohibited.

The silent protest began at 11:00am, when 200 students gathered in front of
the Executive Yuan. By 1:00pm their numbers had increased to over 400. Many
professors also turned up to show their support. The police raised warning
signs on four separate occasions, and someone opted to move the whole
processions to locations registered by the DPP, however, the offer was
unanimously turned down.

The event was initiated by a group of students and professors, and through
the internet expressed their plea of: "Protest against police violence!
Safeguard freedom and human rights!". Originally expecting around 50
participants, news of the event spread like wildfire amongst the academic
community, and by the next day over 400 showed up to help support the cause.
Apart from university students from all over Taiwan, Professors Yun Fan,
Hwa-Jen Liu, Pei-Chia Lan from the Department of Sociology at National Taiwan
University (NTU), and Assistant Professor Chen-Ling Hung from the Graduate
Institute of Journalism (NTU), Professor Guo Pei-Yi from the Institute of
Ethnology (Academia Sinica ), Professor Wu Rwei-ren from the Institute of
Taiwan History (Academia Sinica), Professor Wu Jieh-min from the Graduate
Institute of Sociology (Tsing-Hua University), former Assistant Professor Yeh
Chi-Chen from the Department of Sociology (NTU), Assistant Professor Huang
Ho-Min from the Department of Sociology (Chengchi University) were also
present on scene.

In addition to the encouragement and support given by the professors for the
student’s cause, many students also expressed their deep concerns of the
long term crisis of police using the Mass Gathering and Demonstration Act as
an excuse to disband campaigners through force and even illegal detainment,
which is a serious breach of the freedom of speech. Master's Degree 2nd year
student, Huang Gia-Pin of Graduate School for Social Transformation Studies
(Shih Hsin University) commented: "In the past few decades, Taiwan's
democracy and human rights have been relatively progressing in Asia, however,
in the few days that Chen Yun-lin visited Taiwan, we see the accumulated
democratic accomplishments being eroded away by legislative units who turn a
blind eye when it comes to human rights.”

All the important policies throughout the silent protest, were collectively
decided by all the participants on scene, implementing direct democracy. The
Executive Yuan was only willing to send a second group negotiator to 'receive'
the student representatives, which was perceived by the students as a lack
of sincerity, a weak attempt by the authorities to pacify the situation. The
students reinstated their demand of "an apology from Ma and Liu", "the
relieve from office of Director General of the NPA, and the head of the
National Security Bureau", and "an immediate amendment of the Mass
Gathering and Demonstration Act".

As the Executive Yuan refused to formally receive the student’s pleas, the
students decided to campaign overnight and prepare for a long-term approach.
Even if the demonstration were to be dispersed through force, the students
will surely regroup, "without a formal answer, we will not leave". (Translated by fallenseraph,阿翔)
Visit the original website(苦勞網)  here 
十一月六日,在行政院大門前聚集將近四百名來自各校的大學生以及教授,不滿近日來警
察不當執法、侵害言論自由,導致合法集會的民眾受傷,要求「馬英九總統、劉兆玄院長
道歉」、「警政署長、國安局長下台」和「立即修正集遊惡法」。現場學生為了維持主體
性與訴求的明確,組成糾察隊維持秩序,環繞靜坐人群,並謝絕政黨旗幟入場。

現場學生為了維持主體性與訴求的明確,組成糾察隊維持秩序,環繞靜坐人群,並謝絕政
黨旗幟入場。

今早十一點,兩百名學生來到行政院門口前靜坐,直到下午一點前來聲援的學生陸續增加
至四百多名,也有多位教授前來支持學生的行動。過程中面臨警方四度舉牌,有人提議移
師至民進黨合法申請的場地,但遭到在場同學一致否決。

除了教授們表達支持學生與捍衛言論自由的訴求外,同學們也紛紛發言表示,長期來警方
以集會遊行法為由,動輒強制驅離甚至違法拘留抗議者,嚴重侵害言論自由。世新社會發
展研究所碩士二年級黃佳平同學表示:「過去幾十年來,台灣的民主與人權在亞洲相對地
進步,但是在陳雲林來台的這幾天內,我們看到這些累積下來的民主成果,卻因為行政單
位對於人權的漠視,而遭到破壞。」

由一群大學教授和同學共同發起,透過網路串聯,以「抗議警察暴力!捍衛自由人權!」
為訴求:原預估僅有五十人參加,但一夜之間經過輾轉相傳,竟有四百多人到場靜坐。除
了來自全台各地的學生外,尚有台大社會系范雲教授、劉華真教授、藍佩嘉教授、台大新
聞所助理教授洪貞玲、中研院民族所郭佩宜教授、中研院台灣史研究所吳叡人教授、清華
大學社會所吳介民教授、台大社會系前教授葉啟政、政大社會系助理教授黃厚銘等學者,
到場聲援。

在院方不願正面回應學生訴求下,學生們決議將進行守夜並長期抗戰,絕不妥協;
即便遭到強制驅離,也會再度集結,「不達訴求,絕不解散」。
活動過程中所有的重要決策,都以在場參與者進行小組討論,落實直接民主,當行政院院
方表示僅願意以第二組參議「接見」學生代表,現場同學一致認為院方派遣層級過低的官
員出面,只想安撫學生,缺乏誠意,因此堅持原本訴求:「馬、劉道歉」、「警政署長、
國安局長下台」和「立即修正集遊惡法」。

Written by freespeechintaiwan

November 7, 2008 at 5:42 am

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