Hundreds of people held flags and banners and danced to electronic music as they shouted out their demands on Ketagalan Boulevard in Taipei yesterday at the annual “autumn fight (秋鬥)” calling for workers and minority rights.
The event’s convener, National Federation of Independent Trade Unions honorary chairman Lin Tzu-wen (林子文), said the electronic music this year was meant to help attract young people to the cause, because many appear to be passive toward politics despite often being among the working poor, a result of the current unjust social structure.
More than 40 protest groups nationwide representing labor unions, gay rights, farmers’ rights, environmental concerns, the anti-nuclear movement and housing rights partook in the “autumn fight.”
The annual “autumn fight” began 23 years ago as an annual labor rights protest rally and in recent years has come to include minority rights.
Lin said the groups all have separate demands, but they collectively represent a broader fight against social injustice.
People from different walks of life are facing injustice from employers and discrimination, and only when minority groups come together can their voices be heard, he said.
“We ask for a society that -centers on humans and humanity, in which the value of labor can be recognized,” he said.
Co-convener Kuo Ming-chu (郭明珠) of Raging Citizens Act Now said their main demand was “political justice, a fair economy and social justice.”
“Political justice is not only about the right to vote, but also to participate in policymaking; a fair economy is not limited to free competition in the labor market, but also includes a fair distribution of profits,” she said, adding that workers are not getting basic respect or a share of the benefits from the nation’s economic development that they work hard to accomplish, and some have even been asked to take unpaid leave.
Taiwan International Workers Association member Meriam said a vast number of foreign household workers in Taiwan were not -protected by the law concerning appropriate working hours or the right to switch employers, urging the government to modify the laws to better protect their working rights under the Labor Standards Act (勞動基準法).
Chen Ping-hsuan (陳平軒), a member of Taiwan Rural Front, said farmers have joined hands with laborers to fight for their rights in view of recent controversial cases of farmland expropriation and water being used for industrial development over farmland.
Taiwan does not exclude the possibility of having formal diplomatic relations with countries that also have formal ties with China, regardless of Beijing’s stance, Minister of Foreign Affairs Joseph Wu (吳釗燮) said on Sunday. There was speculation in 2012 that Honduras was attempting to have simultaneous diplomatic relations with Taiwan and China, an idea that then-minister of foreign affairs David Lin (林永樂) rejected. Honduras severed formal ties with Taiwan on Sunday morning after establishing diplomatic relations with Beijing. President Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) administration has taken a more practical approach to relations with like-minded countries since assuming government in 2016. Previous administrations took the
Seven senior faculty members, including the principal, of a high school in Taichung were temporarily suspended from their jobs on Friday, pending an investigation by the Taichung Education Bureau into alleged bullying and abuse that led to the suicide of a student last month. The city’s education officials were too slow to suspend those involved, the student’s father told a news conference on Wednesday, at which Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Chang Liao Wan-chien (張廖萬堅) and members of the Humanistic Education Foundation were also present. The boy had been a good student and a high achiever during elementary and junior-high, and had
Taiwan would have established formal relations with Argentina long ago if not for China’s interference, Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs Alexander Yui told US-based Spanish-language online news outlet Infobae in an interview published on Tuesday. Beijing has left behind a string of unfulfilled promises in Latin America, including pledges to build the Grand Nicaragua Canal and airports, docks, ports and industrial zones in El Salvador, he said. Meanwhile, Brazil, Argentina, Chile, Mexico and other countries enjoy pragmatic and improving relations with Taiwan based on cooperation on the economy, culture, technology and science, he said. While Taiwan is “happy to live and let live,”
WASHED ASHORE: Of the 16 bodies discovered along Taiwan’s west coast this month, two were Vietnamese and five were Taiwanese, coast guard officials said Minister of Justice Tsai Ching-hsiang (蔡清祥) said that he has instructed prosecutors and maritime authorities to launch investigations after 16 bodies were found along Taiwan’s west coast this month, amid speculation that they were victims of smuggling or human trafficking rings. Coast Guard Administration (CGA) officials said the bodies, most of which had washed ashore, were found by coast guard personnel and local residents along the coastline from Keelung to Kaohsiung. Thirteen of the bodies are male and three are female, the CGA said, adding that items found on the bodies indicate that two of the men were Vietnamese, while three men