Taiwan: It Has Its Shape And Color, But It’s Not Real

All of you remember of course about the “special areas” where people could protest in China during the last Games.

And of course you still remember that the people who dared to do so, finished their day in jail even though it was publicly authorized.

Well, given the fact that some top negotiators from China are coming to Taichung, Taiwan is talking to set up a protest zone to accommodate demonstrators during that time.

… Are you surprised?

The mayor of Taichung is denying to plan such a zone (HERE), even adding that its constitutionality is questionable.

So, who is planning this move?

Beside, what I understood in the past when this plan was first announced, this “eventual zone” was supposed to welcome freely protestors.

But […] the city’s police chief Hu Mu-yuan said Thursday that people who intend to hold a protest should first seek permission from the police…  applications should be filed six days before the demonstration […]

It has the shape of freedom, it has the color of freedom but… it’s not freedom.

Or maybe I misunderstood?


Mots clés Technorati : ,,,

5 Responses

  1. Only the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) knew in advance where the Chiang-Chen meeting would be taking place, and their proxies have already applied for these permits, effectively making any protest “illegal.” Take a look:
    – – –

    [Maddog translation:]
    Rights to use the streets around all the [5-star] hotels in Taichung City have already been applied for from mid-December all the way to the end of the month. Several city councilors feel that the people’s rights to use the streets have been blocked, and that afternoon [Nov. 13, 2009] they asked city police to send the aforementioned applications to the City Council for the councilors to review.
    – – –

    I heard that Jason Hu said that he would allow protests — as long as they were “reasonable” and “legal.” The insincerity of such a statement is made obvious above. In the end, he’ll be able to say that he was the “good guy,” but police will still try to justify arresting and brutalizing protesters.

    The violent Chinese KMT doesn’t follow the law — the law follows them. Fuck that!

    Tim Maddog

  2. I read this slightly differently. The government is just following the law and administrative procedure. It is trying to cover itself from criticism that will inevitably come.

    I also see that there will be a repeat of what happened in Taipei in November 2008. Groups will apply to protest near the meeting venue. Protest permits will be denied with the government suggesting an alternative location. Subsequently people will protest near the meeting venue and be subject to the unconstitutional Parade & Assembly Law.

    There are better ways to handle this issue, but the government and its agencies haven’t learnt from their mistakes.

  3. Right Tim, it reminds me some previous similar cases… Tricky. Did you say tricky?

    David, if the government was just following the law, why to propose in the first place the “special area(s)” which seems to be unconstitutional?

  4. F. Varga, I think the government realised they initially made a mistake so they decided to restate how they would handle this in accordance with the law. Hence, when the inevitable criticisms come they will just respond by saying they were following the law. Even though the law itself may be unconstitutional too.

    Thanks to Tim Maddog for the additional information. It seems like the whole episode will be an exact repeat of last year.

  5. Oh I got your point David, and I agree with you.

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