Organizers of the annual “Autumn Struggle” yesterday said that protesters would walk from Pingtung County to the Presidential Office Building in Taipei to highlight their opposition to “ractopamine pork, double standards and one-party rule.”
Event convener Huang Te-pei (黃德北) said that organizers hope to garner support for a “yes” vote in two of the national referendums scheduled for Dec. 18.
One of the four referendum questions calls for a ban on pork imports containing traces of the leanness-enhancing additive ractopamine, while another seeks to block a liquefied natural gas terminal from being built near algal reefs off Datan Borough (大潭) in Taoyuan’s Guanyin District (觀音).
Photo: Fang Pin-chao, Taipei Times
“On the walk, we hope to talk with civil organizations and groups in the hope of gathering support to voice our displeasure on Dec. 18,” Huang told a news conference in Taipei.
Lin Tzu-wen (林子文), one of the leaders of the group, said that they would start the walk from Pingtung tomorrow and aim to reach Yunlin County in 12 days.
The planned route is to take them through 13 municipalities and counties before arriving on Ketagalan Boulevard in Taipei on Dec. 12, Lin said.
They are to hold talks in front of train stations, temples and other public places at 7:30am each morning as the walk progresses, he said.
People are welcome to listen to the talks or walk with the group to learn more about the issues that those on the march advocate, he said.
Environmentalist Pan Chong-cheng (潘忠政), who initiated the referendum seeking to block the building of Taiwan’s third liquefied natural gas terminal at its proposed site off Taoyuan, said he was touched that the organizers were willing to support reef protection.
Su Wei-shuo (蘇偉碩), a clinical psychologist who attended last year’s protests and who is to participate again this year, said that none of the demands regarding banning pork containing traces of ractopamine, and fighting double standards and one-party rule had been met.
In last year’s protest, more than 50,000 people backed by 42 labor groups walked from Ketagalan Boulevard in front of the Presidential Office Building to the headquarters of the Democratic Progressive Party on Beiping E Road in Taipei.
The Autumn Struggle is one of Taiwan’s oldest domestic labor demonstrations.
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