Protester oversteps bounds
Members of The Union, a union for the higher education industry, and a group of students from different universities on Monday rallied outside the Ministry of Education in Taipei to call on the government to abolish its rules regarding the rights and benefits of student assistants, which they say make students at college and above provide labor under the pretense of offering them learning opportunities.
During the rally, a National Chengchi University student deliberately broke an egg over the head of ministry official Wang Shu-chuan (王淑娟), who attended the rally to meet with the protesters, placing her in an embarrassing situation.
Leaving aside the issue of what the union members and students want, the aggressive behavior by this student has thrown the whole protest into question and caused it to lose its validity, as it overstepped the boundary of acceptable protest behavior and in fact entered the realm of violent personal attack, if not also a public insult. It is outrageous and deeply regrettable that the protest should turn out this way.
Having served as a university teacher for many years, I have often encouraged students to speak up and to stand up against the authorities when they see things that they think are unfair, because I believe that this is what we must do to make the country a better place.
Nonetheless, just because we are fighting for a noble cause, that does not mean that we can do whatever we want and not show the most basic respect for others.
If that is how we behave, we are no better than bullies. If we attend a protest with the attitude of a bully, how can we expect the public to be willing to show support for that protest?
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