Thu, Feb 21, 2019 - Page 3 News List

Civic groups to march in commemoration of Incident

By Ann Maxon  /  Staff reporter

Members of various civic groups in Taipei yesterday use sign language to promote a march that they are to hold on Sunday to mark the 72nd anniversary of the 228 Incident.

Photo: Chang Chia-ming, Taipei Times

More than 60 civic groups are to march in Taipei on Sunday to commemorate the 72nd anniversary of the 228 Incident.

As they did last year, the groups plan to read out the names of the Incident’s victims while walking through historic sites linked to the event, including the Tianma Tea House (天馬茶房), the site of a former Tobacco Monopoly Bureau office, a radio station occupied by protesters during the Incident and the Executive Yuan, which then served as the office of then-Taiwan governor Chen Yi (陳儀).

Last year’s march saw the participation of 48 civic groups, while 61 groups have signed up for this year’s event, the Nylon Cheng Liberty Foundation and the Presbyterian Church in Taiwan, which organized the march, said in a joint statement.

It is to be the third time that civic groups march through the sites related to the Incident in commemoration of its victims, they said, adding that the theme for this year is “continuing transitional justice.”

In addition to commemorating victims, this year’s march hopes to examine the Incident’s meaning for younger generations, Presbyterian Pastor Lin Wei-lien (林偉聯) said.

Five students in their 20s who in 2015 protested against a government plan to revise curriculum guidelines for high-school history textbooks have drafted the manifesto for the event, which is to be read out at the end of the march, he said.

“Individual perpetrators can be forgiven, but the 228 Incident must not be forgotten,” Lin said, adding that he hopes memories of the event and its significance would be passed on to future generations.

Foundation chief executive officer Tu Chih-yao said that the Incident serves as an important reminder of how precious freedom is.

“Many people might be indifferent about the 72nd anniversary [of the Incident], but we must not give in to ‘amnesia,’” she said.

Chia Nan University of Pharmacy and Science student Yu Teng-chieh (游騰傑), who helped draft the manifesto, said that he hopes the march would be an educational opportunity for teachers and students.

“As students, we are used to viewing history as past events, rather than stories of real people, and we do not ask questions about the truth behind it or about the government’s motivations,” he said.

He said that he hopes teachers and students would join the march to learn about the Incident and reflect on the way they learn history.

The march is to begin at 1:30pm in front of Rixin Elementary School in Taipei’s Datong District (大同).

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