Civic groups yesterday announced a nationwide anti-nuclear parade next Saturday, calling on members of the public to stand against unsafe nuclear power plants.
“Terminate the Fourth Nuclear Power Plant, take to the streets everyone,” and “Break through the ‘bird cage,’ toward a better future,” representatives from a number of groups organizing the parade chanted at a press conference in Taipei yesterday, while adding that a referendum proposed by the Cabinet on the construction of the Fourth Nuclear Power Plant would not guarantee nuclear safety.
“It’s a survival issue, not a battle between political parties,” Green Citizens’ Action Alliance secretary-general Tsuei Su-hsin (崔愫欣) said, adding that the nuclear power issue is a great concern of the public, but the current “birdcage referendum” law — with excessively high thresholds for putting a referendum proposal on a ballot and passing it — makes it an unfair battle between the opposing sides.
“The government is using its resources to oppress rising anti-nuclear voices in society, looking down on civic groups and probably thinking that they will lose the vote if it manipulates the referendum as if it were a political election, but we will make our voices heard on the streets, asking for a better future with sustainable energy,” she said.
“Taiwan is so small that it does not have the conditions to develop nuclear power, because the harm caused by a nuclear disaster would be irreversible,” Citizens of the Earth Taiwan chairman Liao Pen-chuan (廖本全) said, adding that the referendum proposed by the Cabinet clearly shows its intention to continue with the construction of the power plant because it does not consider the other options should voters choose to abolish nuclear power.
Homemakers United Foundation president Chen Man-li (陳曼麗) said nuclear power is only the choice of 32 of 193 nations and it is not suitable for Taiwan because the nation is so small and there would be nowhere to hide should a disaster occur.
The organizers plan to begin the parade on Ketagalan Boulevard in Taipei, Aozihdi Forest Park (凹仔底森林公園) in Greater Kaohsiung, the Civil Plaza (市民廣場) in Greater Taichung and Taitung Sinsheng Park (台東市新生公園) in Taitung City next Saturday afternoon.