Members of the 908 Taiwan Republic Campaign staged a symbolic funeral for dictator Chiang Kai-shek (
"Premier Su Tseng-chang (
Wang founded the organization as an advocacy group for a formal declaration of independence.
After making brief opening remarks, Wang asked the crowd to look at Chiang's statue for 30 seconds.
The gesture, Wang said, is called deng bie (
After the farewell stare, the crowd walked along the outer walls of the memorial hall to imitate another tradition known as rao guan (
As they walked, the crowd pushed on the walls and shouted: "Push down the wall of authoritarian regimes and open up space for democracy!"
The crowd made preparations to seal Chiang's "coffin" as they reached the Dazhong Gate of the memorial.
Traditionally, sealing the coffin -- when family members hammer nails into the lid to seal it -- is the last part of a funeral before burial.
Wang presented a sharp metal stake with a sign that read "Site for future Taiwan Democracy Memorial Hall" and asked all participants to hammer it into the ground.
As he hammered, a member of the crowd shouted: "Let's seal it so the evil spirit of Chiang Kai-shek will never be able to get out again!"
The group vowed to take further action after yesterday's symbolic funeral.
"If Premier Su won't tear down the walls, we'll do it ourselves in May," Wang told the crowd after the walk around the memorial.
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