Sun, Oct 15, 2006 - Page 8 News List

Letters: Freedom and fanaticism

The anti-President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) demonstrators have the right to express their views non-violently. Under the laws of all healthy societies, demonstrations are protected "speech," subject only to content-neutral regulations as to time and place.

Anyone who threatens or uses violence to oppose or promote the anti-Chen cause should be prosecuted. If there are insufficient police to monitor the demonstrations, then hire more.

And such demonstrations on Double Ten National Day are not an embarrassment. Freedom -- including the freedom to demonstrate -- is, after all, what is being celebrated today.

But it is ridiculous to claim that the anti-Chen demonstrators are motivated by opposition to government corruption. The single-issue fanaticism of these pro-unification advocates, and the media supporting them, have caused urgent political issues to be ignored -- including funding for the military, improving anti-corruption laws and selecting Control Yuan members.

James Walsh

Taipei

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