A parade will be held in Taipei this afternoon to commemorate today’s 64th anniversary of the 228 Incident.
Organized by the Taiwan 228 Care Association and the Taiwan National Alliance, the parade will start at 2:28pm, passing by the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) headquarters before arriving at Ketagalan Boulevard in front of the Presidential Office.
The 228 Incident refers to the bloody crackdown on demonstrators after a woman was beaten for selling contraband cigarettes in Taipei City on the night of Feb. 27, 1947. The beating sparked nationwide disorder and the slaughter of tens of thousands of Taiwanese at the hands of KMT troops.
Last year, a group of families of 228 Incident victims filed a lawsuit listing demands for the KMT to publicly apologize for the 228 Incident, publicize information relevant to the 228 Incident in the party archives and pay compensation of NT$200 million (US$67.2 million) from its party assets to help with the upkeep of the 228 Memorial Hall in Taipei.
Family members and victims’ organizations were outraged when the appeal was overturned at its first hearing.
The Taipei District Court ruled that the massacre was ordered by the government of the day and was not related to the KMT per se.
The question of the degree to which the KMT, which was in power at the time of the massacre, should shoulder responsibility for the 228 Incident is to be ruled on in the Taiwan High Court on March 9.
“Compensation has been received by many, but it is all tax-payers’ money and not a KMT party compensation,” 228 Care Association chairman Lee Pang-fu (李邦孚) said.
As a result, when the parade passes KMT headquarters today, participants have vowed to chant protest slogans against the KMT.
“The main purpose of the parade is not only to reinforce the claims of 228 Incident victims’ families, but also to urge the government to investigate those responsible for the 228 Incident,” Lee said.
Taiwan Solidarity Union Chairman Huang Kun-huei (黃昆輝) and Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Chairperson Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) have both been invited to speak at the event.
While Huang is expected to attend, the DPP said DPP Secretary-General Su Jia-chyuan (蘇嘉全) would attend the event on behalf of Tsai, as she will be attending another 228 Incident memorial event in Yilan.
Additional reporting by staff writer