More than 30 pro-independence organizations yesterday began an eight-day rally calling for the release of former president Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) and protesting against what they regard as President Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) poor performance.
Gathered in front of the Taipei Railway Station, the civic groups released a nine-point statement on a wide range of issues, including freezing fuel and electricity prices, keeping the ban on beef imports containing the livestock feed additive ractopamine, Chen’s release from jail, the elimination of nuclear power, amendments to the Referendum Act (公投法), reform of the electoral system, self-determination for Taiwan and ending “inappropriate” land expropriation.
They also called for the government to stop paying Ma for what they termed his “failed policies.”
The protest, which was organized under the theme “Let me live,” will be held at the plaza in front of the station until May 20, when Ma’s second term inauguration will be held.
“We call for all those who support our appeals and have suffered under Ma’s leadership to participate in the demonstration,” 908 Taiwan Republic Campaign convener Peter Wang (王獻極) told a press conference at the plaza yesterday.
Various groups are scheduled to hold different activities, including church services, film screenings and anti-nukes and anti-hunger events in the eight-day demonstration.
Wang said the -demonstration would be part of a national protest held in conjunction with massive rallies organized by the Democratic Progressive Party on May 19 and the Taiwan Solidarity Union on May 20.
The groups do not rule out extending the protest if the Ma administration does not respond in a timely fashion, Wang said.