However, Ko’s well-received performance also drew the attention of the Taipei City Police Department’s Zhongzheng First Precinct, which asked Ko to come in for questioning on June 11 last year, regarding what it said were public-safety offenses.
After the police request was reported by the media, it triggered an outcry among artistic and cultural groups, and was lambasted by some netizens as being “measures very similar to those seen in a totalitarian society.”
With Taipei Mayor Hau Lung-bin (郝龍斌) also criticizing the police reaction as “making a fuss over a trifling matter,” the scheduled questioning was canceled at the last minute.
Speaking about plans for more protests, Ko said he plans to launch an “umbrella signature drive” through which people could show their opposition to nuclear power by signing their names on white umbrellas.
“This umbrella has so far collected about 15 signatures from my acquaintances and staff members,” Ko said, referring to a white umbrella in his office that features the slogan: “Stopping the Fourth Nuclear Power Plant for the next generation.”
Saying that film director Lee Lieh (李烈) also had an umbrella similar to his, Ko called on more people from the music industry and the cultural sector to take part in the initiative to make their voices heard.
Meanwhile, a group of directors, including Doze Niu (鈕承澤) and Cheng Yu-chieh (鄭有傑), have produced a number of three-minute anti-nuclear micro movies and posted them on Youtube, in a bid to inspire more people to follow suit.
“The umbrella signature drive is not initiated by an organization, nor does it carry any specific political affiliation, which in a way enables us to act more freely, ” Wu said.
However, Wu said that he and Ko would not rule out cooperating with organizations, “as long as they can help put a halt to the construction of the power plant.”
Citing an anti-nuclear statement recently issued by representatives from the artistic sector, Wu said it called on the government to scrap a budget proposal to invest several billion New Taiwan dollars more in the controversy-plagued plant, “for the sake of offering peace of mind to the many parents in the country and their children.”
“Granting the additional budget to the nuclear power plant is not only tantamount to [throwing money into] a bottomless pit, but could also signal the onset of a major, irreversible catastrophe, which the artistic community will spare no effort to try and prevent in a gentle, but firm manner,” Wu cited the statement as saying.
The statement also urged President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) to come forward and prevent the tragedy, saying that doing so could be the “greatest contribution Ma has made to society, helping him to create a positive legacy.”