Dec 11, 2008

Police forces end to nonviolent student sit-ins in Taipei!

Timing couldn't have been more ironic:
In the night after the 60-year declaration of universal human rights on December 10, at around 3 to 4 a.m., the expressedly non-violent student protesters of the Wild Strawberry Movement were forced by the police to leave their home for one month, Liberty Square (the former CKS Memorial Hall). This move made President Ma's speech of the day look awkward:
"Thanks to the government's continued efforts to uphold human rights, Taiwan has now become "the world's freest country" in terms of the people's right to assembly, which [Ma] said was very well demonstrated by several protests at the ceremony in support of a variety of causes."

This is what a friend from Taiwan wrote:
Note also that the eviction fell right into a time when plans for a more coordinated collaboration with Tibetan activists (e.g. for inviting the Dalai Lama to Taiwan) were being mulled over. My friend explicitly says that the reason policemen stated for evicting the students was "helping the Tibetans".
I am not sure whether anyone anticipated a move like that at the moment. But sad it is, indeed. I feel like it should be clear for everybody to see what this government is trying to accomplish, only that media in the west go out of their way to stress its "pragmatism" towards China and not mention hell about what is happening bit by bit: the vanishing of what used to be one of the worlds premier democratisation processes, a prime example for political theory until just recently. And this is truely sad, especially with the symbolic date serving as symbolic background. I'm confused whether Ma did it purposedly right then. Since actions speak louder than words, their symbolic meaning are crashing his smooth rhetoric, and this is frightening.
What else can you do when there is no opposition left? Presidency, Government, Police and Military, and a huge part of the media are working hand in hand with the ruling party to re-establish the one-party state of old. This is what I fear.
And it will have an impact on democratisation processes around the world.

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