Recently I had a chance to be a witness of historical event in Taiwan social life — The Sunflower Student Movement — few weeks protest against new trade agreement with Mainland China.
Short introduction: 18 of March protesting crowd burst in to building of Taiwan Government (Legislative Yuan) and occupied it. Protestants demanded clause-by-clause review of trade agreemend and, later, they demanded full cancellation of the paper.
Protestants (who are mostly students) and their supporters (major part of Taiwanese) claim that new trade law with Mainland China 1) threaten independency of Taiwan as democratic country; 2) unfair to Taiwanese businessmen in their access to Chinese market.
And its hard to argue with 1st point especially because new trade agreement with Mainland China will allow Chinese fortune to be invested (and finacially to have controll) in such important industries as media and telecommunications.
Also its a wide spread believe that Taiwan president Ma Ying-jeou was bribed by Chinese government.
Some European media already draw parallels with Ukrainian Maidan. And probably reasons and realisation are pretty similar but — fortunately — Taiwan is not Ukraine.
During almost 2 weeks of active protests and building occupation there were no dead victimes of violence. Except poor policemen who got stroke because of overworking (as people say).
The most violent moments were when police was ordered to drag out and beat insisting to stay protestants. After this accident Taiwanese were lament on cruel police and later the head of Taipei police was given a pink slip.
Western foreigners which I know observed this news with cold realism of their own cultures: there is no doubt if similar will happen in their own country there are definately will be dead victimes and not just single ones.
There is a windy spring evening. Lets tale a walk with me and have a look on Taiwan protest?
You also offered to get hair cut for free… Taiwan!
Without getting any clear result as confirmations with government, students left governmental building. They were promised to have some changes in «law approvement» procedure and maybe something else. Definately all people of the country (and world too) were also attracted to the problem, the events called huge resonance not only among Taiwanese communities globally.
I personally just have a hope that this inspiring and pretty peaceful protest was useful and scandal law wont be ratificated at least as how it is for now.
But what we have already is a rised star of Lin Fei-Fan and Chen Wei-Ting, young leaders of the protest.
Their numerous fans already buy up «symbolic» Lin’s jacket from Uniqulo stores and other even making public declaration of love: