Several film directors yesterday called on the public to join them in a nationwide anti-nuclear demonstration on Saturday.
At a press conference yesterday afternoon in Taipei, a group of directors led by Ko I-chen (柯一正) urged the public to express their concerns over nuclear energy by participating in the mass demonstrations themed “Halting the construction of the Fourth Nuclear Power Plant for future generations.”
The press conference was also attended by Taiwanese filmmakers Wu Yi-feng (吳乙峰), Leon Dai (戴立忍), Cheng Yu-chieh (鄭有傑), Chu Yu-ning (瞿友寧) and Huang Jian-wei (黃健瑋), writers Hsiao Yeh (小野) and Lo Yi-chun (駱以軍), and actress Liu Tzu-chun (劉姿君).
Despite being absent from the press conference, Taiwanese directors Zero Chou (周美玲) and Wang Hsiao-ti (王小棣) would also join the crowds taking part in the demonstrations, Ko said.
The upcoming anti-nuclear power rallies will be held simultaneously in Taipei, Greater Taichung, Greater Kaohsiung and Taitung on Saturday afternoon, with assembly points at Ketagalan Boulevard in Taipei, Aozihdi Forest Park (凹仔底森林公園) in Kaohsiung, the Civil Plaza (市民廣場) in Taichung and Sinsheng Park (台東市新生公園) in Taitung.
“Premier Jiang Yi-huah’s (江宜樺) move to put a decision on the continuation of construction of the Fourth Nuclear Power Plant in New Taipei City (新北市) to a referendum suggests that the government is getting smarter, as it has cleverly thrown a political hot potato back to the people,” Ko said.
The government has not only abdicated its responsibility to make major decisions, such as whether to put a halt to the plant’s construction, but also shunned discussions related to nuclear safety, Ko said.
Ko added that even if the proposed referendum was passed, a substantial amount of money from taxpayers’ pockets had been wasted on building the problematic facility.
Hsiao Yeh said he had spoken out against nuclear energy 20 years ago when the construction plan for the Fourth Nuclear Power Plant was being considered and now that he’s a grandfather, the issue is still in dispute.
“For this reason, I have released an anti-nuclear declaration this year that has nearly 300 signatures from people in the artistic and cultural industries,” Hsiao Yeh said.
Yang said he hoped that no catastrophic nuclear accidents such as the one that took place in Fukushima, Japan — where he had filmed — would ever take place in the future, “so future generations can grow up in a safe and secure environment.”
Accompanied by his daughter, Cheng said that a small country like Taiwan should not use nuclear power and that he wanted to do something for future generations through his actions.
A veteran director who has produced scores of well-received TV drama series, Chu said he had too many dreams waiting to be fulfilled in the future and could not sit back while the nation sits on a time bomb.
Separately yesterday, Taiwanese film director Doze Niu (鈕承澤), movie producer Lee Lieh (李烈) and actor Ethan Ruan (阮經天) also pledged to hit the streets on Saturday to express their concerns over the Fourth Nuclear Power Plant.
Urging the government to ensure the safety of the plant before entering into discussions on the continuation of its construction, Niu said it was “preposterous” to complete the plant’s construction simply because of the large amount of money spent on it.
“In spite of all the threats [by the government], such as a possible increase in power prices [should the plant’s construction be halted,] safety still matters the most,” Niu said, adding that while nuclear energy is cost-efficient and eco-friendly, there are many alternative types of energy the government could choose.