Groups use events to highlight social issues

By Chris Wang  /  Staff reporter

Wed, Jan 01, 2014 - Page 3

Several groups celebrated the new year with an overnight event that began last night in front of the Presidential Office and at Liberty Square in Taipei to promote their stances on various social issues, including the use of nuclear power, land justice and same-sex marriages.

Anti-nuclear activists concluded their 84-day march around the nation with a night rally — for which speeches, film screenings and concerts were arranged — that aimed to highlight civil disobedience and their determination to see nuclear energy phased out in Taiwan.

As a hidden protest against President Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) pro-nuclear policy, the campaign began on Double Ten National Day on Oct. 10 last year, with activists promoting anti-nuclear awareness in various townships and cities during a marathon march along Taiwan’s coastline.

However, groups advocating labor rights, the renegotiation of the cross-strait service trade agreement, battling the concentration of media ownership and other issues also showed up to voice their discontent with the Ma administration.

The activists organized a ceremony on Ketagalan Boulevard in front of the Presidential Office Building for 6:30am today to raise an anti-nuclear flag.

Meanwhile, the 908 Taiwan Republic Campaign staged an anti-nuclear protest yesterday afternoon near the presidential residence, saying that Ma has intentionally underestimated the potential impact of storing nuclear waste.

“No solution has been put in place to handle nuclear waste,” 908 Taiwan Republic Campaign deputy secretary-general Chilly Chen (陳峻涵) said. “If nuclear waste is as safe as Ma has claimed, then the presidential residence should be turned into a nuclear waste storage site.”

Lee Cho-han (李卓翰), convener of the anti-nuclear group Papa Promise Future, said the Ma administration was “the largest and most powerful pro-nuclear group in Taiwan,” but it still does not know how to deal with nuclear waste.