Wed, Jun 20, 2018 - Page 8 News List

The real ‘best friend of the court’

By Lin Yi-ping 林宜平 Chen Hsin-hsing 陳信行 Paul Jobin 彭保羅

Since the pollution was reported by the media in 1994, many labor groups, academics, experts and volunteer students have assisted the victims and their lawyers, collecting and analyzing data, considering how to fight against highly paid US and Chinese experts who came to testify in defense of GE and TCE.

These activists, academics and students have no conflicts of interest. They are the true “friends of the court.”

The two victories for the workers from the district and high courts provide progressive insight. We hope that the Supreme Court will uphold the original judgement as the definitive verdict.

The lengthy and difficult mobilization by Taiwan’s real “friends of the court” will show the truth of industrial pollution to prevent other such tragedies from happening again.

We are grateful for the investments made by US companies in Taiwan after World War II and we cherish the fruits of Taiwan’s economic development, but after piercing the veil of multinational companies, we have also seen the odious facts of long-hidden and brutal pollution.

The NAM proclaims that it is “the voice of the American manufacturing community and a leading advocate for policies that help manufacturers compete in the global economy and create jobs worldwide,” and cares for “the fair treatment of international businesses when subject to local judicial proceedings.”

We hope that the NAM and the NFTC will respect environmental justice, so that they will not only be friends of the court and good friends of GE, but also Taiwan’s most loyal friend.

Lin Yi-ping is an associate professor and dean of National Yangming University’s Institute of Science, Technology and Society. Chen Hsin-hsing is a professor at Shih Hsin University’s Graduate Institute for Social Transformation Studies. Paul Jobin is an associate research fellow at the Academia Sinica’s Institute of Sociology.

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