Thursday, November 06, 2008

Have they lost their minds?

Last week, Taiwan was a free country where the human right to free speech and protest were respected. This week, police brutality, unseen since the days of martial law (白色恐怖), has been unleashed upon the citizens of Taiwan on direct orders from Ma Ying Jeou's (馬英九) administration in order to shield Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Strait (ARATS) Chairman Chen Yunlin (陳雲林) from the voice of the Taiwanese people. As citizens have attempted to exercise the rights given to those in a democratic country, they have been met with authoritarian style brutality. Let me make this clear, having a democracy does not insure peace. When the democracy is threatened, citizens need to stand up and be heard. This week, tens of thousands took to the streets to let this world know that Taiwan is not a part of China, regardless of how much barbwire or how many police stood in their way.

One of the most disturbing events that transpired this week occurred on Wednesday night (11/5/08) at the Sunrise record store located near the Ambassador hotel where Chen Yunlin was having dinner with two-time presidential loser, Lien Chan ( 連戰). As protestors attempted to protest, they were forced away from the hotel by police. They approached the Sunrise record store that happened to be playing an old Taiwanese song (戀戀北迴線) loudly over their speakers, which last I checked was not against the law. Numerous TV news footage show uniformed and undercover police quickly enter the store, immediately stop the music, and then proceed to close the shop, with no warrant while hundreds of angry citizens demanded an explanation. The store owner, Chang Pi (張碧), was injured by the police and her store damaged during the incident.

So what was the official explanation given by this lame duck government? National Police Agency (NPA) Director-General Wang Cho-chiun (
王卓鈞) actually said the reason was that the store violated the Noise Control Act (噪音管制法). In other words, just because the music was too loud, Taipei City Police Department Beitou District head Lee Han-ching (李漢卿) had no choice except to throw out all laws concerning freedom of speech and close down a privately owned records store by force. Lee actually said with a straight face that he did not hear what type of music was being played and that he will not apologize for the incident. Did Lee forget the dozens of TV news cameras that broadcast the entire incident nationwide? The one and only reason the music was shut off and the store closed was because the music that was playing was in Taiwanese. What would have happened if the store was playing Chinese, Japanese, or Spanish songs instead? Nothing.

And all this backwardness was for what purpose? To create an illusion for Chen Yunlin and his precious little eyes and ears? Chen Yunlin does not even understand Taiwanese (Aboriginal, Hakka, or Hoklo). What could possibly go wrong if he hears a Taiwanese song? I mean, he even watched the Taiwanese blockbuster movie, Cape No. 7 (
, where they speak and sing in Taiwanese throughout the film. Or did Chen watch a special edited version of Cape No. 7 (Chinese edition, No Taiwanese)?

The point I'm trying to make here is this, the democratic rights that we enjoy here in Taiwan are in grave jeopardy. Just two weeks ago, citizens could wave any flag they pleased in public. Less than a month ago, for the 10/10 celebration the KMT littered the whole of Taipei in R.O.C. flags. But as soon as Chen Yunlin arrived, no R.O.C. flag or Tibetan flag was allowed to be displayed anywhere that Chen Yunlin was scheduled to be. As citizens tried to peacefully express their opinions through the only means they had their bodies and their voices they were met with extreme police brutality. So now there is Taiwanese police beating on Taiwanese citizens for what? So that Ma Ying Jeou can help some Chinese Communist official save some face. The Taiwanese people will not sit idly by as our rights are trampled on by this China loving administration.

So after all the police and all the media hype, Ma Ying Jeou must have had so much to say to Chen Yunlin, too bad he only got seven minutes to talk to him. And after all the guessing as to whether Chen Yunlin would address Ma as president or mister, Chen decided to just use the noun, "you," too bad for "you."


At 4:05 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Eric,

We have to link up our resources. Please contact FAPA-YPG and

Dr. Simon

At 7:18 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Please support the students who are protesting right now!!!

At 7:37 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi, Eric:
Taiwan is in need of people like you. I was very disappointed in Ma's government day after day after 520. I am also sick and tired of most mainstream TV dramas that gave bad images for people who speaks Mandarin with Taiwanese accent. And should I call that a racist? There are no other ethnic groups on earth would discriminate against themselves besides Taiwanese. Shame on you, my fellow Taiwanese!! Thanks God we have a courageous young man like you helps to reverse that image and stereotype public commonly know.

Hooray to our future hope, Gutsy Eric! Let your passion keeps burning for our beloved Taiwan.


At 1:08 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Please excuse my language, but I could not find any more appropriate words for it. As far as I'm considering, all those cops in Taiwan are eating sh%#. Especially Lee Han-Chin...he almost made me break my TV when seeing him defending himself.


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