Thu, Apr 15, 2010 - Page 3 News List

ECFA rally scheduled for June 6

CAST OF THOUSANDS DPP insiders said the party is likely to co-host or officially participate in the rally, which is expected to attract labor and grassroots support

By Vincent Y. Chao  /  STAFF REPORTER

Protesters against the government's plan to sign an economic cooperation framework agreement (ECFA) with China are planning to take their opposition to the streets on June 6.

Michelle Wang (王美琇), an official with the Taiwan Rescue Action Alliance and one of the organizers of the planned demonstration, said yesterday that they wanted the international community to know that not all Taiwanese support the trade pact and that “the people are fed up” with the government's continued push to sign it.

The date was announced after a meeting yesterday among pro-independence organizations and observed by representatives from the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) and the Taiwan Solidarity Union (TSU).

Despite earlier media reports that the protest might be held on May 20 to coincide with the second anniversary of President Ma Ying-jeou's (馬英九) inauguration, participants at the meeting said that organizers changed the date because the DPP is scheduled to hold its vote for chairperson on May 23.

Adding that a number of labor organizations and grassroots movements are expected to join, organizers said hundreds of thousands are expected to attend the rally, which would make it the biggest demonstration against the ECFA to date.

A DPP rally in Taichung on Dec. 20 last year against what the party called the Ma administration's non-transparent decision-making process on the proposed ECFA attracted 100,000 people, the DPP said at the time.

Police put the number at 30,000.

DPP Spokesperson Tsai Chi-chang (蔡其昌) yesterday said that while party officials had not yet officially endorsed the June 6 rally, the proposal is under consideration by the party’s nine-member ECFA response team.

Party insiders said the DPP would likely either co-host or officially participate in the rally.

Some of the demands to be made at the June 6 demonstration will include asking the Ma government to agree to a nationwide referendum on an ECFA.

The TSU will submit papers required for the first phase of a referendum to the Referendum Review Committee next week.

Details about the locations and length of the rally have not been finalized.

Some groups, including the Taiwan Referendum Alliance, were quoted by the Central News Agency as having asked rally organizers to apply continuous pressure on the Ma administration by holding rallies of between 5,000 and 10,000 protesters a day around the legislature, with slogans that read “We will not disperse if there is no referendum.”

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