Netizens have taken to Facebook to take part in an online campaign of “turning themselves in,” venting their anger after remarks by Minister of the Interior Lee Hong-yuan (李鴻源) that the supporters of four Dapu families could face legal action after allegedly damaging government property and violating the Assembly and Parade Act (集會遊行法).
Using Facebook’s new hashtag feature, the campaign, dubbed “Wanted: Tens of thousands to turn themselves in (萬人自首招募中),” has elicited passionate responses not only from people who attended the rally, but also among netizens who are upset with what they regard as the government’s arbitrary policymaking.
The campaign came in the wake of an overnight rally against the forced demolition of houses in Dapu Borough (大埔) in Miaoli County’s Jhunan Township (竹南) staged by the Taiwan Rural Front (TRF) on Sunday last week and Monday.
The protesters rallied in front of the Presidential Office in Taipei before staging an overnight sit-in outside the ministry calling for amendments to the Land Expropriation Act (土地徵收條例).
Lee on Wednesday said the protesters could face legal action for leaving thousands of protest stickers and graffiti on the walls of the ministry’s building, as well as spray painting a mural on the ground outside the entrance.
“I was too pissed off to go to bed after hearing Lee say that he planned to sue the TRF and the protesters, so I posted a message on Facebook to vent my anger,” a 40-year-old woman surnamed Su (蘇) said.
Her post unexpectedly gave rise to the wide-reaching online campaign after a young netizen included it with a hashtag.
The campaign was followed by a nearly identical campaign, called “Needed: Tens of thousands to turn themselves in (#萬人自首募集中).”
Another netizen, who identified herself as Chen Hung-ying (陳虹穎), also launched a similar campaign on Facebook, but removed the words “turn themselves in,” saying they implied that the protesters had committed a crime, whereas they had not broken any laws or engaged in any form of violence during the rally.
Su said she was impressed by the creativity and ingenious ways campaigners added a pinch of humor to serious social events.
“I am also touched by [young people’s] efforts and courage to step forward and make their voices heard, when they could just stay home and sit in front of their computers playing online games,” she added.
Yang Yu-fang (楊宇帆), a young pineapple farmer who wrote a letter to President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) in September last year asking him to save the nation’s agricultural industry, also voiced his support for the protesters.
“My body was working at a farmland at an elevation of 3,000m to make a living on Sunday [last week], but my spirit was there with those protesters, throwing pineapples at the government and at the brainless ‘jellyfish,’” Yang said, alluding to a mocking nickname given to Ma by the nation’s netizens, who said the president and the jellyfish have three things in common: “They are brainless, spineless and have venomous tentacles.”
Two people were killed and another nine injured yesterday after being stung by hornets while hiking in New Taipei City’s Rueifang District (瑞芳), with officials warning against wearing perfume or straying from trails during the autumn to avoid the potentially deadly creatures. Seven of the hikers only sustained minor injuries after being stung along the Bafenliao Hiking Trail (八分寮) and made their way down the mountain with a guide, the New Taipei City Fire Department said. Four of them — all male — sustained more serious injuries and were assisted when leaving the mountain, the department said. Two of them, a man surnamed
Recent movements by the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) have been “highly unusual,” but the military maintains a grasp of the situation, Minister of National Defense Chiu Kuo-cheng (邱國正) said on Friday, after the military for the first time said it was monitoring troop movements in China’s Dacheng Bay (大埕灣). The minister gave the remarks to reporters before appearing at the legislature on the first day of its new session. The Ministry of National Defense on Thursday evening released an air force surveillance photograph of a PLA Shaanxi Y-8 anti-submarine aircraft, and said it was monitoring the PLA Rocket Force and ground
‘ABNORMITY’: News of the military exercises on the coast of the Chinese province facing Taiwan were made public by the Ministry of National Defense on Thursday Taiwan’s military yesterday said it has detected the Chinese military initiating a round of exercises at a bay area in coastal Fujian Province, which faces Taiwan, since early yesterday morning and it has been closely monitoring the drills. The exercises being conducted at Fujian’s Dacheng Bay featured an undisclosed number of People’s Liberation Army’s (PLA) warplanes, warships and ground troops, the Ministry of National Defense said in a press statement. The ministry did not disclose what kind of military exercises are being conducted there and for how long they would be happening, but it did say that it has been closely watching
China’s Office of the Commissioner of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Hong Kong has asked foreign consulates in Hong Kong to submit details of their local staff, which is more proof that the “one country, two systems” model no longer exists, a Taiwanese academic said. The office sent letters dated Monday last week to consulates in the territory, giving them one month to submit the information it requires. The move followed Beijing’s attempt to obtain floor plans for all properties used by foreign missions in Hong Kong last year, which raised concerns among diplomats that the information could be used for