Thu, Mar 19, 2015 - Page 1 News List

Rallies mark Sunflower anniversary

CRUMBLING WALLS:In the morning, protesters in their signature bamboo hats made seven laps of the legislature, a reference to the Bible’s Battle of Jericho

By Lii Wen  /  Staff reporter

At a separate rally earlier in the day, student activist Chen Wei-ting (陳為廷), who played a leading role in the Sunflower movement along with fellow activist Lin Fei-fan (林飛帆), said that the Ma administration has continued to promote closer ties with China.

“We all know that the Ma administration does not just want to implement the cross-strait service trade agreement or continue economic negotiations; what follows is a push for a meeting between Ma and [Chinese President] Xi Jinping (習近平), as well as political negotiations,” Chen said.

Looking back on last year’s protests, Chen said that the decisionmaking process throughout the movement lacked democratic participation among its members, adding that the “deification” and increased public attention on the leaders of the movement should be re-examined.

Chen has disappeared from the public eye since December last year, after a series of sexual harassment scandals surfaced, marking an abrupt end to his 17-day legislative campaign in the Miaoli by-election.

The embattled activist participated in a smaller rally earlier in the day led by former Democratic Progressive Party chairman Lin I-hsiung (林義雄), in which about 200 members of the People Rule Foundation marched around the Legislative Yuan.

Wearing their signature bamboo hats, the protesters made seven laps of the Legislative Yuan compound in silence, in reference to the biblical Battle of Jericho, in which the walls of Jericho were said to have crumbled after the Israelite army marched seven times around the city.

Academia Sinica researcher Huang Kuo-chang (黃國昌) said campaigns led by youth activist group Taiwan March, which grew out of the Sunflower movement, aimed to tackle problems inherent in the nation’s political institutions — such as the failure of legislators to respect public opinion.

He urged the public to continue to support activists’ drive to reform the Referendum Act to ensure that the public have a say in political decisions.

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