Sun, Sep 15, 2013 - Page 1 News List

Groups urge action ahead of KMT national congress

By Alison Hsiao  /  Staff Reporter

Senior media worker Ge Shu-ren, left, applies for permission to hold a protest on Ketagalan Blvd at the New Construction Office at the Taipei City Government’s Public Works Department Friday. The purpose of the protest, which will be held on Sept. 29 and aims to attract people from all political parties, is to “Hit the streets and scold [Ma] Ying-jeou.”

Photo: Taipei Times

An online signature drive petitioning to recall President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) that has collected more than 156,000 signatures since its initiation on Wednesday is just one of several public movements spurred by Ma’s “political persecution” of Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平), as more people and civic groups called for protests on Sept. 29, the date slated for the Chinese Nationalist Party’s (KMT) national congress.

Playing on the Chinese word for “chide,” which is “Ma,” former TVBS vice president Ge Shu-ren (葛樹人) has announced on Facebook his plan to “take to the street to chide Ma.” The post garnered hundreds of “likes” and “shares.”

Ge had previously sent a public letter to former Presidential Office deputy secretary-general Lo Chi-chiang (羅智強), taking Lo to task for launching the attack on Wang while he was attending his daughter’s wedding.

Ge also questioned if Lo or any of his family members had ever abused their influence or accepted any bribes.

“Is asking reporters not to report certain things and not to publish certain stories not a form of undue influence as well?” Ge asked.

However, some netizens questioned Ge’s intentions, as the planned route of his march would lead toward Ketagalan Boulevard and away from the Sun Yat-sen memorial hall, the venue of the KMT national congress.

Calling for a full besiegement of the Memorial Hall when the KMT members gather there, the National Alliance for Workers of Closed Factories is staging a separate protest against Ma and the government on the same day.

The alliance called on other civic groups which have been formed in response to government repression in the past few years to join the protest and wear black to mark the day, organizers said.

They added that they invite all those protesting the tearing down of Taipei’s Huaguang (華光) and Shaoxing (紹興) communities, urban renewal projects, Yuanli’s (苑里) wind turbine project, the demolition of houses in Miaoli County’s Dapu Borough (大埔) and nuclear power to join forces to “prevent the KMT [government] from reversing Taiwan’s democratic progress.”

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