Taiwan’s Wild Strawberry Generation

wild-strawberryAt an age when political activism is generally shunned among university students around the world, it is encouraging to see how in Taiwan students have chosen to make their voices heard at a time critical to the political future of their homeland. I am referring to the Wild Strawberries Student Movement started by a group of students in Taiwan.  They are protesting against what they consider as government suppression of civil rights during the visit of a delegation from the PRC.

David on Formosa has written a very good post about this movement with links to other relevant websites.

Far-Eastern Sweet Potato has an eyewitness account of events leading up to the clash between police and protesters on 6 November.

Of course not everyone in Taiwan agrees with this group of students. Someone has just started a website to rally support against the Wild Strawberries Student Movement. They have accused the Movement of being biased and of making false claims about its political non-affiliation. I am not familiar with Taiwan’s domestic politics. So I am not able to determine who is telling the truth and who is lying. However, I am glad to see that people of different political interests in Taiwan are still allowed a platform to express their opinions. This is a sign that democracy is alive and kicking there.

Many historical events in 20th century China were inseparable from student movements. The May Fourth Movement and the Tiananmen Square Incident were just two of the best examples. What is the future of democracy in Taiwan? Will the Strawberry Generation in Taiwan be able to make a difference?  I don’t know.  Only time will tell.  But in any case, I am dedicating this song to everyone who is a part of this Wild Strawberries Student Movement.  Good luck and God be with you.

 

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One Response to Taiwan’s Wild Strawberry Generation

  1. C.A. Yeung says:

    The Ma Ying-jeou Administration seems to be fast retreating back to KMT’s Fascist heritage. Here is an example from Michael Turton’s latest post about Ma’s response to the Wild Strawberries. It doesn’t look good:

    “The Wild Strawberries protest has entered its tenth day. The Taipei Times says that Ma has invited the students to negotiate with him. As if in response to the student protests, now going on in several cities, the Liberty Times said today that the jiao guan system, the posting of military officers to universities, is going to be revitalized and revived. In the martial law era these officers functioned as political officers who kept an eye on student political thinking. Today they do various administrative and counseling tasks, as well as teach the required courses in military science that all university students must take. Because this system is overwhelmingly and reliably pro-KMT and many within it worked to influence the students in that direction, the DPP had frozen the system and had been slowly reducing its influence and size. It is too early to say whether this represents a long-term move to politicize the university system, whose administrative apparatus already tends to be strongly pan-Blue, but it is not a hopeful sign.”

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