Mon, Dec 03, 2012 - Page 3 News List

INTERVIEW: Student protest leader speaks on civil liberties

By Chen Hsiao-yi and Jake Chung  /  Staff reporter, with staff writer

“We are also seeking to broaden our influence via Web sites such as Facebook, or through direct Internet broadcasts,” Lin said.

Lin, who is also the spokesman of the Youth Alliance Against Media Monsters, added that despite the vast support that student movements have received from other sectors of society, the majority of students have not recognized that they are living in a critical moment when society is being transformed.

“We feel angry about the situation and are fighting for the basic right to protest and march, but other students view our efforts though simple political lenses and feel that it is a fight between pro-independence and pro-unity, a struggle between pro-green and pro-blue,” Lin said, adding that many students were disinterested in the Wild Strawberry Movement because some media reports had cast it as a pro-green movement.

The students are now bravely standing up and demanding change in the nation’s media.

On July 31, following Lin’s call, group of students staged a demonstration against the Want Want China Times Group, which at the time alleged that Academia Sinica associate research fellow Huang Kuo-chang (黃國昌) had given the students money to protest its planned acquisition of cable television services owned by China Network Systems.

The demonstration was also aimed at disproving the image painted by some media that the anti-Want Want protesters were being manipulated, Lin said.

“We feel sad that students in pursuit of justice are being mercilessly oppressed. We regret that young students seeking truth are being blackmailed and terrorized,” Lin said.

“After experiencing all of this we have decided that we will no longer remain silent. The call for freedom will be uttered from our throats and the fire of liberty will in our chests. Though we stand here in the rain, the rainbow after the storm will give us our freedom back,” he said.

Lin has since stood at the helm of a number of students protests, hoping to effect change. Braving bad weather and police, the demonstrators have sought to bring civil liberty issues to the public’s attention.

Despite his commitment to the issues, when Lin saw some students sustaining injuries during a protest on Tuesday last week, he urged them not to clash with police and demonstrate peacefully.

“I’m sorry that I cannot lead you all inside and see Premier Sean Chen (陳冲), but we must disperse because I cannot bear to see you stand here freezing and getting hurt,” he said to the protesters. “We have to leave this place now, but it is only the beginning. This is not our last battle.”

True to his word, Lin held a protest the next day.

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