In the meantime, the farmers’ group takes an active role in closely monitoring the reviewing process, looking into the makeup of the review committees, preparing for their next move and training members to convey their opinions clearly and effectively when facing politicians and the media.
“You have to treat each battle as your last, because if you don’t, the next thing that will arrive at your door is likely to be a notification from the government telling you to take the money and leave,” Liu Ching-chang said. “We have to always be prepared.”
Liu and his fellow comrades have also sought alliance with other farmers facing a similar predicament, as well as farmers’ right activists, academics and students. Together, they have held large-scale demonstrations, staged overnight protests on Ketagalan Boulevard in front of the Presidential Office and drawn the public’s attention to “land justice.”
“In this lawless country where it is the government that breaks the law, we people need to unite to protect ourselves,” Liu Ching-chang said.
“Before, farmers didn’t know how to fight back. Many died heartbroken after losing their homes and land. Now, we are taking back our rights to work and live.”