“I’d be lying if I say I have not at times wanted to give up,” Chen said. “However, I must keep fighting because I really care about these issues.”
Youth Alliance spokesman Hung Chung-yen (洪崇晏) said that it is the alliance’s hope that the government would respect human beings.
“It doesn’t matter which case we are fighting for, whether it is the Lo Sheng [Happy Life] Sanatorium, the Wenlin Yuan construction case, the Hualon case or media monopolization. The bottom line is it is the people who face oppression, who are being deprived of power ... and yet they do not have the chance to speak for themselves when they are faced with the government or the media,” Hung said.
The Lo Sheng case stems from a dispute over whether the sanatorium, built in the 1930s to house people with leprosy, should be demolished to give way for the construction of the Xinzhuang MRT Line’s depot.
The Wenlin Yuan case refers to the forced demolition of the Taipei residence of a family surnamed Wang (王). The Wangs maintain that they retain the right to the land and their home, while the Construction and Planning Agency contends that since more than 90 percent of the residents in the area had agreed to the urban renewal project, the Wangs cannot cite the rights of land ownership and usage.
“The act of obtaining freedom is always accompanied by great fanfare and hubbub, but the loss of freedom is always silent,” Lin said, quoting Wang Dan (王丹), an exiled student leader of the 1989 pro-democracy protests in Tiananmen Square in Beijing.
“I have nothing to say about the government, but for our efforts to succeed, we need more people to participate, and to do that we must first instill among the people a sense of civic consciousness,” Lin added.
Speaking of the Youth Alliance’s greatest wish for the New Year, Lin said: “I hope the 70,000 fans on the Youth Alliance’s Facebook page will come out and join us in any future endeavors this year instead of just thanking us on Facebook.”