The Kaohsiung City Government is planning a series of activities to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the Kaohsiung Incident.
The city government said the activities were to be held to express appreciation to the people who devoted themselves to Taiwan’s democratization and “allowed the fire of democracy to keep burning.”
The activities, to be held from Nov. 20 to Dec. 20, will include seminars on human rights, a photo exhibition, a concert and an evening party.
Domestic and foreign human rights advocates from the US, Japan, South Korea and New Zealand will be invited to take part in the events.
The Kaohsiung Incident, also known as the Formosa Incident, took place on Dec. 10, 1979, when a group of dissidents, mostly from Formosa Magazine (美麗島雜誌), held a demonstration in Kaohsiung commemorating Human Rights Day in an effort to promote and demand democracy in Taiwan.
The government cracked down on the protesters and arrested most of the democracy activists active at the time. Current Kaohsiung Mayor Chen Chu (陳菊) and former vice president Annette Lu (呂秀蓮) were among the people arrested and jailed following the incident.
In the years that followed, pressure grew on the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) government to lift martial law and bans on independent political parties and newspapers, leading to the country’s democratization.