The Taiwan Nation Alliance is planning a parade in Taipei on Feb. 28 to mark the 67th anniversary of the 228 Incident.
The parade theme will be “Remembrance of the national trauma of the 228 Incident, build a new nation — Taiwan,” alliance convener Yao Chia-wen (姚嘉文) said.
Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Chairman Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) and former DPP chairperson Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) have tentatively agreed to participate, while Taiwan Solidarity Union Chairman Huang Kun-huei (黃昆輝) has said he will take part, Yao said.
Taiwan has independent sovereignty, so the alliance is calling for establishing a new nation — Taiwan — because “we do not want to be united with China,” he said.
However, with President Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) government pandering to China and some DPP members voicing “strange opinions,” “if we want to build a new nation, it means we must not give up Taiwanese independence,” Yao said.
The parade route begins at the Fazhugong Temple (法主公廟) on Nanjing W Road at 2:28pm, the alliance said.
Across the street from the temple is the spot where Tobacco Monopoly Bureau agents tried to arrest a widow named Lin Chiang-mai (林江邁) for illegally selling cigarettes in front of the Tian-ma Tea House on Feb. 27, 1947.
As they tried to confiscate her cigarettes and money, she pleaded for mercy and was beaten. Bystanders intervened, forcing the agents to flee, but they opened fire on the crowd as they ran, killing one man.
Protesters went to the bureau’s Taipei branch the following morning and ransacked the office, setting off what eventually became known as the 228 Incident.
The parade will head southeast along Chongching N Road and Chongching S Road to where the bureau’s Taipei branch was in 1947. It will then pass along Hankou Street, Kuanchien Road, Zhongxiao W Road and Gongyuan Road to the 228 Peace Memorial Park, where participants will lay flowers in front of the 228 Monument.
Su, Tsai and Yao will reportedly give speeches before the parade begins.
The alliance has staged a parade on Feb. 28 for several years.
The 228 Incident was a national trauma that seriously hurt Taiwan, so the alliance wants to hold an annual parade each year to remind Taiwanese not to forget the incident, Yao said.
Pro-independence groups will also host a concert at Liberty Square in Taipei on the evening of Feb. 28 to encourage young people to remember the 228 Incident.
Additional reporting by staff writer