Indivisible from afar
In January, people worldwide gathered to show solidarity with the Women’s March on Washington. Taipei was no exception.
Shortly after a small number of American expatriates and other concerned Taipei residents who gathered to support the Women’s March on Washington formed the group Indivisible (Taiwan). Since then, the group has grown into three subgroups meeting in different places for maximum impact and involvement.
United against the [US President Donald] Trump administration, we have chosen to ally with the Indivisible movement, which has more than 4,000 branches.
Inspired by former Congressional aides who wrote a brochure about effective activism, Indivisible Taiwan has gathered to write postcards, make calls, discuss the legalities of fundraising events and coordinate writing tasks.
This week we will gather for two events on International Women’s Day [today]: a lunchtime “mannequin challenge” at Taipei 101 and a march from Freedom Plaza (Chiang Kai-shek [蔣介石] Memorial Hall) to Daan Park from 4:30 to 7:30pm.
These events were inspired by the “Day Without a Woman” demonstration planned as a follow-up to the Women’s March on Washington. Our march will include speeches by Legislators Yu Mei-nu [尤美女], Karen Yu [余宛如] and Jason Hsu [許毓仁].
While many of our members have work commitments during those hours, any and all participants are welcome.
We hope our actions will call attention to honoring women worldwide.
The Indivisible movement began in the US after former Congressional staffers released the Indivisible Guide online, which details effective ways to have one’s voice heard by members of Congress.
The local Indivisible (Taiwan) chapter has no party affiliation and seeks to assist American expatriates in participating in their democracy from afar, educate American friends and loved ones about the successes of Taiwanese democracy, and show solidarity with global protest movements.
We also hope to enhance grassroots political exchanges between Taiwan and the US and promote progressive ideals in both nations.
After Women’s Day, our activities will continue with a general membership meeting on March 15 at PicCollage near the Sun Yat-sen (孫逸仙) Memorial Hall and ongoing meetings of our Friday morning and Tianmu subgroups.
We also hold other regular activities such as sign-making workshops for marches and “whine and wine” nights when we gather to call our elected representatives and voice our concerns.
Our membership is diverse, including expatriates and locals. What we have in common is an appreciation for Taiwan’s decades of political evolution as a guiding light during a time of darkness in the US.
Others who are interested but who cannot attend meetings can join us on Facebook to share ideas and bear witness to a politics of resistance and action.
It might seem to many American expatriates that there is little they can do to get involved in political activism focused on the US. However, our actions are aimed not only at having maximum impact, but also to provide an avenue for expatriates to have a voice and make a difference, even while abroad.
The Trump administration does not represent us, or the America we believe in, and we will do our best to protect the land we love from those who would destroy equal protection under its laws.
We are indivisible in our support for civil liberties, human rights, gender equality, a clean environment and economic justice for all.
228 versus the Holocaust
Feb. 28, 1947, is a historical day in Taiwan. Both numbers 228 and 1947 are divisible by three. A Taiwanese saying is that it takes three to form a rite, suggesting that 228 is a rite.
For Taiwanese (including Holo or Hoklo, Hakka, Aborigines and Mainlanders) the 228 Incident is as tragic as the Holocaust to Jews.
Similarities between these two major human catastrophes might end here.
Statues of Adolf Hitler have been completely wiped out in Germany, but statues of Chiang Kai-shek (蔣介石) are still stading in Taiwan, with the exception of Tainan.
The Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall and grave have around-the-clock armed guards. Many cities have streets named Chung Cheng (中正) — his official name.
Germany’s Third Reich is dead; but the Republic of China (ROC) still confuses Taiwanese over their nationality.
The Nazi Party has been destroyed; but the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) is still alive, even if it lost presidential and most local elections last year.
Many KMT members are still executive powers and the courts are still operated by the KMT. The “status quo” is in effect.
Former president Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) has many legal cases against him; but he still gallops freely.
Ma is a Harvard graduate, but he likes to distort history and treaties. He tried to twist the ROC from anti-communist to pro-communist.
Germany has faced transitional justice since the Holocaust and punished the people involved, but Taiwan has not even started transitional justice and none of the criminals involved in the 228 Massacre have been punished.
Israel is a UN member state and recognized by the US, EU and Japan among others, but Taiwan is excluded from the UN and not recognized by the US, EU or Japan.
China shows sympathy for the 228 Incident, but this is like a cat crying for the death of a mouse.
China wants to impose its “one China” policy on Taiwan politically and academically.
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