Sunday, January 13, 2013

Protest Time!

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The sign says "We're too poor to get married - we're furious!" (liberally translated from "[Our] fire is huge!").

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Breathtaking in its simplicity

















When I said "let's burn things", I wasn't being entirely serious, but clearly I was not the only one with this mindset.

Photos below - it's late and I have a headache (I blame the airhorns) so more commentary to come tomorrow.

Some basic thoughts though -

- Besides the "A-bian no crime!" people, not a lot of weirdos out. Only a few strange outfits (catalogued below) and only one weird pet (a duck). It was pretty friendly, low-key, Occupy-style. I coulda done without the airhorns though.

- This was the first protest I have attended in Taiwan where I felt I was really participating rather than just hanging out and taking photos - regardless of whether I've agreed with protesters in the past (and I usually have - I've only ever been to one where I truly didn't, the "A-bian step down!" one six years ago, but back then I was too dumb to even know I disagreed). But this time, perhaps because it was an amalgamation of different groups, I felt right at home, and like I wanted to be a part of it beyond just taking photos.

- ...and it really was a conglomeration of groups: the No Nukes guys, the environmentalists, the DPP and TSU, several other associations (Including the Taiwan Professors Association), a Hakka group, an aboriginal group, the anti-Want Want media deal folks, various candidates, and those who just feel a general anger at Ma Ying-jiu, the KMT, the economy, the threat from China, or all of the above. More diverse than your usual protest.

- The whole thing was peaceful and well-organized: police presence was there but minimal and non-threatening. The route was planned carefully and seemed to be predicated on maximizing traffic disruption around Zhongxiao Dunhua and other busy intersections. The organizers had red plastic chairs for people when they got to the Presidential Office. Protesting in comfort!

- This was the largest protest I think I've seen yet in Taiwan - at least it seemed larger to me. I walked the whole thing - Sun Yat Sen to the Presidential Office - and there were people a mile behind me and people a mile ahead, I swear. I stopped at Starbucks for a latte and the bathroom and it was still going by in force after waiting in line for both.

- I appreciate the simplicity of many of the signs. You can have one that details a manifesto of everything wrong with the government, or you can just say "FUCK MA". I like the latter. Brevity being the soul of wit and all. Because hey...fuck Ma.




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2 comments:

Bethany Hull said...

Damn, now I'm kind of sad I missed it. Well, but I like the little guy all decked out; looks like his parents are teaching him a good lesson on civic participation!

Maggie in Xiamen said...

Why fuck Ma? Is he so faceable?