Activist seeks end to nuclear power

SOCIAL MEDIA MOBILIZATION::The activist and coffee shop owner publicized her campaign online and used Facebook as a forum for event discussion

By Lee I-chia  /  Staff reporter

Thu, Oct 11, 2012 - Page 3

Among the national flags waving in the streets on Double Ten National Day yesterday, hand-printed flags, expressing individual hopes for an end to nuclear power in the country, were also seen at numerous coffee shops, hostels and book shops nationwide.

The flags were printed with the words “NO NUKES, No more Fukushima” on them.

The event was started by a coffee shop owner nicknamed A-fa (阿發) in July, through a post on Facebook.

A-fa said she is not a radical social activist, but that she had often thought about what she could do to express her support for the anti-nuclear power movement. She began writing letters to individual shops to ask if they wanted to join her in displaying anti-nuclear power flags on National Day.

In the Facebook post explaining her initiative, she wrote: “Taiwan cannot be happy when facing many different problems, but if anything goes wrong at the nuclear power plants, all that we truly cherish and worked hard for will be gone.”

She said that she hopes the simple message that the flags encourage could become a “Happy Birthday” song for Taiwan on National Day.

At the registering deadline for flag-printing last month, 1090 stores or individuals — more than three times the original estimated number, were registered to display the flag yesterday. There were also others who printed out small paper flags to place in their stores.

Dozens of participants from across the nation shared photographs of their flags at different places on the event’s Facebook page yesterday. Among the locations were coffee shops, book shops, breakfast shops, an egg cake stall, a hair salon and a hostel on Lanyu (蘭嶼).

Later yesterday evening, the event initiator wrote on the Facebook page that she wondered whether the government will review its decision and listen to people’s voices because of the flags bearing anti-nuclear messages.

“But at least I’ve made some little changes in my daily life to try to help the environment,” she wrote.

“We all have a responsibility to make the environment better,” she added.