Police in Dapu Borough (大埔), Miaoli Country, on Saturday night fined the organizers of a street premiere of director Chan Ching-lin’s (詹慶臨) film, A Breath from the Bottom (狀況排除), for “disturbing public order” by holding the screening at the site of the controversial demolition of residences in the borough earlier this month.
As many as 300 activists and members of the public joined Chan and other artistic figures at 7pm on Saturday in a show of solidarity with the four families whose homes and businesses were bulldozed on the orders of Miaoli County Commissioner Liu Cheng-hung (劉政鴻) on July 18, ending a three-year battle to halt the destructions.
A selection of the 2013 Taipei Film Festival, the black-and-white film tells the story of a father who joins demonstrations against the government after it switches off the water supply during a drought and his son, who is a police officer.
Photo: Peng Chien-lee, Taipei Times
Chan won the festival’s Best Director prize for the film.
Directors Leon Dai (戴立忍), Wu Yi-feng (吳乙峰), Hung Hung (鴻鴻) and Ko I-chen (柯一正), as well as actor Kao Ying-hsuan (高英軒), were among the many personalities who were present at the presentation, which also included musical performances.
Several of them had also participated at a rally on Ketagalan Boulevard in Taipei on Thursday to support the victims of the Dapu demolitions.
Although Liu had threatened to deploy as many as 200 police to the site of the event, only a small number of plainclothes officers were dispatched, and the event proceeded without incident.
Nevertheless, the organizers were still fined NT$1,200 for “disturbing public order,” because the screening was held at the site of one of the demolished buildings, a pharmacy, torn down to widen a road as part of a science park expansion project initiated by the county government.
Following the demolitions on July 18, the Taiwan Rural Front and associated organizations launched a series of protests in Taipei, while numerous spontaneous demonstrations have targeted Cabinet officials in President Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) administration at public venues around the nation, prompting the authorities to adopt measures that critics — including several hundred lawyers who voiced their opposition in an open letter late last week — have called illegal and disproportionate.
In the latest flash protest, four young activists took turns interrupting a speech given by Ma at an event sponsored by the Mainland Affairs Council in Greater Taichung on Saturday afternoon.
Before being taken away, all four shouted the now-popular slogan: “You tear down the Dapu houses today, we will tear down the government tomorrow.”
Taiwan might be China’s next target after it has “walled off” Hong Kong from the rest of the world with its new national security legislation, Academia Sinica Institute of Sociology fellow Wu Jieh-min (吳介民) said on Thursday. At a seminar organized by the Economic Democracy Union, the Taiwan Association for Human Rights, the Hong Kong Outlanders and the Judicial Reform Foundation, Wu said that the legislation is simultaneously a fig leaf concealing Beijing’s autocratic rule in Hong Kong and a figurative “Berlin Wall,” denying democratic countries access to Hong Kong. Wu said it is evident that Taiwan would be China’s next target. The
SAFETY CONCERNS: A construction company working nearby admitted to negligence in the incident, and is to pay a fine and other expenses related to damages Residents of homes adjacent to an alleyway in New Taipei City’s Yonghe District (永和) on Saturday were forced to evacuate their homes after the road collapsed, the New Taipei City government said yesterday. An 80m by 4m area in an alleyway on Wenhua Road (文化路) collapsed at 10:39am near an apartment building construction site where work was being done on the project’s foundation. The incident also ruptured an underground gas pipe and tilted several buildings in the area. Residents would not be able to return to their homes until tomorrow or Wednesday, when repairs are expected to be finished, the city government said. Workers
CHALLENGER DEEP: Lin Ying-Tsong was invited by Caladan Oceanic founder Victor Vescovo to join him on a 10-hour long trip in the company’s submersible Taiwanese-American Lin Ying-Tsong (林穎聰) last month became the first person from Asia and the 12th in human history to dive into the deepest part on Earth, the Challenger Deep in the Mariana Trench. Lin, 45, an expert in deep sea acoustics with the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) in Massachusetts, joined US adventurer and Caladan Oceanic founder Victor Vescovo, 54, on June 22 in a descent to the central pool of the Challenger Deep, the deepest point of the trench, which lies at a depth of more than 10,900m. The pair made the descent in a submersible named Limiting Factor, a US$37
ARMS RACE: Two DPP lawmakers said that China’s development model differed from Taiwan’s, as it aims to become a global hegemon, while Taiwan seeks to protect itself Taiwanese national defense experts are split on how Taiwan should respond to the ever-growing budget of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA), with some advocating for Taiwan to increase defense spending, while others say that little can be done. The Legislative Yuan approved NT$358 billion (US$12.1 billion) for national defense spending across fiscal 2020, a 3.47 percent increase compared with last year, while China’s military budget this year is NT$5.4 trillion, more than 15 times that of Taiwan. Regardless of whether the government adopts a zero-based budgeting method for national defense spending — in which all expenses are justified and approved each