Autumn Struggle workers’ rally to be held on Sunday

By Hsieh Wen-hua and Jason Pan  /  Staff reporter, with staff writer

Wed, Nov 13, 2013 - Page 3

The Autumn Struggle (秋鬥), an annual protest march organized by labor groups, is to be held on Sunday in front of the Palace Mansion luxury residential building in Taipei, organizers said yesterday.

The shoe-throwing protests against the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) and President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) will also continue, the groups said, adding that this time, they plan to bring 2,000 pairs of footwear to vent their discontent at what they said was “the incompetent Ma, the nation’s most unpopular leader ever with only 9 percent public support.”

Two of the themes at Sunday’s rally will be: “End the people-killing economy, turn left to forge a happy society” and “Citizens take a left turn, return the nation to the people,” the groups said.

Representatives from the organizations also criticized Ma’s campaign of “six major commitments,” in which the president pledged to upgrade the nation’s food safety, improve housing for the elderly, ensure housing justice, strengthen the links between urban and rural areas, spur cultural innovation and foster regional economic integration.

“It’s Ma masturbating again. He called for upgrading these six things, but he has already brought Taiwan down to the level of a wretched, low-class society,” a member of the National Federation of Independent Trade Unions said.

“The rich are paying less taxes, while the government is robbing the poor to pay the rich. The administration is deliberately shifting the focus away from the true causes of the nation’s financial crisis by threatening the collapse of the labor insurance and National Health Insurance programs, while creating conflicts and divisions among employees and employers, as well as between private-sector workers and civil service, military and education employees,” the activist said.

The groups said they are planning to announce a “top 10 list” of the nation’s worst capitalist businesspeople and members at the Sunday protest, where they are also planning to put on a skit to mock “how the wealthy business class and politicians have sold out the Taiwanese public’s right to have a decent quality of life.”

The groups also demanded that the government stop shifting the blame for the nation’s problems and instead focus on devising policies that will develop Taiwan, while prioritizing citizens’ quality of life, safety and happiness.