Thu, Oct 18, 2007 - Page 3 News List

Labor activists protest DPP's focus on referendums

By Ko Shu-ling  /  STAFF REPORTER

Labor and anti-independence activists clash with police during a protest outside Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) headquarters in Taipei yesterday. The protesters urged the government to pay more attention to improving the economy and jobless rates instead of pushing for UN membership under the name ``Taiwan.''

PHOTO: PATRICK LIN, AFP

A coalition of blue-collar workers and unionists yesterday demanded Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) presidential candidate Frank Hsieh (謝長廷) apologize to the public for putting more emphasis on his party's UN membership referendum proposal than on the economy.

Holding banners that read "The hard-working people are not pigs, dogs and other animals," the Action Alliance for Opposing a Referendum on UN Membership for Taiwan staged a protest outside the DPP's headquarters.

The protesters demanded Hsieh apologize to all workers for making improper comments. They also demanded the DPP apologize for ignoring the plight of workers and for pushing the referendum on UN membership.

Last Saturday Hsieh said: "We are not pigs or other animals who do not care about the next generation and how to win the respect of others," in response to Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) rival Ma Ying-jeou's (馬英九) reply to Hsieh's invitation to debate the UN membership issue.

Ma said Hsieh should discuss the economy instead, quoting former US president Bill Clinton's 2000 campaign slogan -- "It's the economy, stupid!"

Alliance members pinned the skin from a pig's head on a DPP flag. The described DPP officials as "pig-headed politicians" and the DPP's referendum proposal as a "pig-headed referendum."

The protesters clashed with police when they tried to enter the building to present the pigskin. They wrapped it up in the DPP flag and threw it over the police lines.

An alliance member, Labor Party Chairman Wu Rong-yuan (吳榮元) called on Hsieh and the DPP to pay attention to the plight of the working class because they represented the voice of grassroots voters.

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