Tue, Aug 13, 2013 - Page 8 News List

The Liberty Times Editorial: White shirts protests symbol of hope

However, as soon as they said this, talk emerged about how there were varying reasons for issues like the forced demolition of houses in Miaoli County’s Dapu Borough (大埔); the proposed referendum on the continued construction of the Fourth Nuclear Power Plant in Gongliao District (貢寮); New Taipei City (新北市), the cross-strait service trade agreement and the death of army corporal Hung Chung-chiu (洪仲丘). It is just that the government is incapable of clarifying and responding to these issues.

Such an ingenuous distortion of the facts was aimed at emphasizing that all government policies dealing with the aforementioned issues were absolutely right, and it was just that the government is incompetent and does not communicate with the public enough. This sly tactic aimed at serving those in power was in fact a way of carrying out nonviolent resistance to the clear demands of the white shirts and was a hidden, ideological attempt at distorting what civic society thinks and weakening its awareness.

When protesters started attacking Ma’s attitude — on how he sees himself as king and the people as merely being his subjects — and demanded he step down, a group of retainers of those in power immediately came to his rescue. They tried to shake things up and push their pro-unification agenda by making a connection between the white shirts and the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), saying that nobody was paying any attention to how the DPP had taken over the podium in the legislature while the white shirts were staging their sit-in on Ketagalan Boulevard.

Many people do not realize that if they had not chosen to take to the streets in front of the Presidential Office, the power represented by the white shirts, a power outside of the system, would have to use legal proceedings from within the established system to bring about what they believe in. As long as they have common goals, taking over the podium in the legislature and taking things to the streets are both necessary to solve the problems the nation is facing with constitutionalism. There is no difference between them in terms of importance.

This fear of anything that might be advantageous to the opposition is a clear example of their obsession with power and how it dictates their logic. Now, if these people truly believe that working outside of the establishment represents the best hope for getting things done, will they also agree with the white shirts calling on the public from now on to monitor Ma and his actions using “the eyes of the people” and speak out against him. If this is not the case, their shoddy attempts at protecting Ma as described above are surely a meaningless waste of time.

Although politicians did not initiate the latest white shirts campaign, its effects transcended traditional political lines and their demands were without a doubt purely “political.” This group of young people said straight out that they wanted to use their identity as citizens bestowed upon them by the Constitution to direct certain issues, including those that are about to go through the legislature, such as the proposed referendum on the Fourth Nuclear Power Plant and the service trade agreement.

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