Fri, Oct 19, 2012 - Page 3 News List

FEATURE: Farmer vows to safeguard his land

By Chung Li-hua and Stacy Hsu  /  Staff reporter, with Staff writer

On the first anniversary of the overnight protest last year, the alliance took to the streets and staged another demonstration in the same location, reiterating its call for “land justice” and an amendment to the Land Expropriation Act (土地徵收條例).

Seeking support from the international community, the alliance joined La Via Campesina — a global alliance of 150 farmers’ rights groups. Liu took part in its regional conference last year to speak up for Taiwanese farmers.

“We [farmers] are all small shrimps that have to stand up against the big whale of government and giant corporations,” Liu said during a recent visit by a South Korean farmers’ self-help group.

Although Liu often “puts down his hoe and takes to the street,” he never ceases tending to his rice paddy.

Liu starts his day at 4:30am each morning. He first stops by a nearby temple and pays tribute to the God of the Earth, before he goes inspecting his rice crops and uprooting weeds.

“My rice crops are irrigated with water that comes from a natural spring in Erchongpu and produce a chewy exterior. That is why the second crop of rice from my land has all been pre-sold before it is even harvested,” Liu said.

Driven by a sense of mission to safeguard his farmland and the high-quality rice, Liu said he has made a vow before God that he would never give up on his inherited profession.

“The deeper the bond with the earth, the greater the power one has to shield the land,” Liu said, expressing regret over how nowadays farmers are forced to defend their land with their lives.

“The revolution has not yet succeeded, all comrade farmers must keep moving forward,” Liu said.

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