Vocal artists and film directors yesterday voiced their anger over the forced house demolitions in Miaoli County’s Dapu Borough (大埔) last week to make way for a science park, accusing the government of compromising human rights and asking more people to understand the seriousness of the issue.
The protest took place following the arrest of National Chengchi University professor Hsu Shih-jung (徐世榮) and another protester on Wednesday, when they joined other supporters of the demolished house owners in staging a demonstration outside the Ministry of Health and Welfare in Taipei during a visit by President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九).
Theater director Ke Yi-cheng (柯一正) said the Taiwanese government was worse than the Chinese Communist Party.
“The communist party at least has a central committee, but our local governments can act like cocks crowing on their dunghills. Regardless of which political party is in charge, they all try to turn our precious land into construction sites and science parks. A lot of science parks have become obsolete, but the politicians still want to build them. They only focus on business interests,” Ke said.
“It’s strange that we have so many people, but we succumb to the threat of the few people who rule the nation. It is not that we have nothing better to do. We just cannot contain our rage,” he said.
“I think this thing is not going to go away. That they tore down the houses in Dapu against the will of the people means they will not apologize for what they have done. What they have underestimated is the power of the people. All we have to do is step out and tell the government that they should not do this,” Ke said. “Government officials should protect the people, but they now choose to stand with business groups and divide the profits among themselves.”
Ke encouraged people to fight for the cause until the end, adding that people in Taiwan will lose everything if they do not continue fighting.
Fish Lin (魚仔林), lead singer of the band Kou Chou Ching, said he was almost arrested on charges of endangering public safety on Wednesday when all he and his friend did was display a banner with the words “Civil Revolt” (官逼民反) in Chinese to Ma’s motorcade.
He said the government has turned into an authoritarian regime, the same as he saw in his childhood.
To protest, Lin also wrote a rap song criticizing the brutal actions of the police, as well as Ma and Miaoli County Commissioner Liu Cheng-hung (劉政鴻).
Yang Li-chou (楊力州), who directed the documentary Young at Heart: Grandma Cheerleaders (青春啦啦隊), said the environment in Taiwan has deteriorated to such a state that he did not even know how to teach his four-year-old daughter.
“It should not be just the artists who care about what happened in Dapu. As long as you are a parent, you should want to raise your children in a normal society. Our society is abnormal and twisted,” Yang said.
Leon Dai (戴立忍), who won best director at the Golden Horse Awards for his movie No Puedo Vivir Sin Ti (不能沒有你), said Ma was doing something a fascist would do.
“Our government has dispatched so many policemen to help tear down people’s houses and remove protesters from the sites who only wanted to speak the truth. This means that the Ma Ying-jeou administration is scared and is trying to hide something. I encourage everyone to understand the issue more by going online and reading more media reports,” Dai said.