The students staging sit-ins around the nation in protest at what they call the use of excessive force by police to disperse demonstrators during the recent visit by a Chinese envoy are planning to build an art installation at the Taiwan Democracy Memorial Hall in Taipei to symbolize their opposition to authoritarianism.
Lee Li-wei (李立偉), spokesman of the Wild Strawberry Student Movement staging the sit-in at the hall’s Liberty Square, told the Taipei Times yesterday that the student demonstrators were planning to build a “strawberry tower,” a bamboo art piece 6m to 7m in height, at the square.
“We hope to highlight our efforts to breach an authoritarian space and our refusal to conform” to authoritarian rule, he said.
The students began their sit-in in front of the Executive Yuan on Nov. 6. They reconvened their sit-in at Liberty Square after being evicted from the Executive Yuan by the police because they had not applied for a demonstration permit.
The students have called for the immediate amendment of the Assembly and Parade Law (集會遊行法) to rescind the requirement for event organizers to seek approval from law enforcement authorities before holding a rally. In addition, the students are demanding a public apology from President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) and Premier Liu Chao-shiuan (劉兆玄) over the police’s handling of protests, as well as the replacement of National Security Bureau Director-General Tsai Chao-ming (蔡朝明) and National Police Agency Director-General Wang Cho-chun (王卓鈞).
A number of student groups have launched sit-ins nationwide in support of the students in Taipei.
Lee said the number of students participating in the Liberty Square sit-in had dropped sharply to a maximum of 40 to 50 students per day.
More than 500 students from around the nation protested at Liberty Square on Saturday.
Lee did not specify the reasons for the dwindling numbers, but an article posted on the students’ Web blog, action1106.blogspot.com, said that “everyone was tired” and that “some of the student leaders influenced participants’ spirits by bringing in their personal emotions” to the sit-in.
Lee said the protesters who remained at the square would not give up.
They hope to raise other people’s awareness of the movement’s agenda by distributing flyers on the street or holding conferences in colleges around the nation, Lee said.
It took director Chong Keat Aun (張吉安) nearly a decade to complete Snow in Midsummer (五月雪), a deft chronicle of Malaysia’s May 13 incident told through one woman’s search for her brother and father. Although only his second feature, it led the field at yesterday’s Golden Horse Awards with nine nominations. Chong said it had been a struggle to get people to share their memories of the intercommunal violence following the 1969 national election, known among the country’s ethnic Chinese community as “513.” “My father, for example, would shut the conversation down if my mother or grandma even mentioned the topic,” Chong said
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) yesterday said that a surge in respiratory illnesses in China has been caused by at least seven types of pathogens, and small children, elderly people and immunocompromised people should temporarily avoid unnecessary visits to China. The recent outbreak of respiratory illnesses in China is mainly in the north and among children, CDC Deputy Director-General Philip Lo (羅一鈞) said on Monday. Data released by the Chinese National Health Commission on Sunday showed that among children aged one to four, the main pathogens were influenza viruses and rhinoviruses, while among children aged five to 14, the main pathogens
A new poll of Taiwanese voters found the top opposition candidate for president jumping past the ruling party’s hopeful into the lead position ahead of January’s election — the latest twist in a drama-filled race. Taiwan People’s Party (TPP) presidential candidate Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) had an approval rating of 31.9 percent versus 29.2 percent for the Democratic Progressive Party’s (DPP) presidential candidate Vice President William Lai (賴清德), the poll released yesterday by the Taiwanese Public Opinion Foundation showed. The Chinese Nationalist Party’s (KMT) presidential candidate, New Taipei City Mayor Hou You-yi (侯友宜), ranked third with 23.6 percent, according to the survey conducted
A New Taipei City hotpot restaurant could be fined after a rat dropped from the ceiling and landed on a customer’s plate last week, the New Taipei City Department of Health said yesterday after conducting an inspection. A woman recently posted on the “I am a Banciao resident” (我是板橋人) social media group saying that she had been eating with a friend at Chien Tu Shabu Shabu Hotpot Restaurant’s Shuangshi B branch in Banciao District (板橋). “While still eating, a big rat suddenly dropped down from the ceiling, landing on a plate next to a hotpot,” she said. “Later on, a member of