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Home The News News Sunflower anniversary to be marked by rallies

Sunflower anniversary to be marked by rallies

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As the one-year anniversary of the Sunflower movement approaches, activists have scheduled a series of events to highlight the goals sought during the landmark protests in which tens of thousands of demonstrators rallied against the government’s handing of a proposed service trade pact with China.

Led by Economic Democracy Union convener Lai Chung-chiang (賴中強), a coalition of social advocacy groups are to rally outside the Legislative Yuan on Wednesday next week, marking the day when student-led protesters first swarmed the Legislative Yuan’s main chamber.

Lai called on the public to support the groups’ three main demands: the establishment of an oversight bill to monitor cross-strait agreements, constitutional reforms and an immediate halt to cross-strait negotiations on trade in industrial and agricultural goods.

The passage of a cross-strait oversight bill was the primary demand of the Sunflower movement, after Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator Chang Ching-chung (張慶忠) sparked a public outcry when he attempted to ram through a preliminary reading of the service trade pact in about 30 seconds.

With eight versions of a cross-strait oversight bill now under legislative review, the groups announced the launch of an online voting campaign to invite grassroots input.

“The Internet is the most powerful weapon for civic participation, which is why we aim to use the Internet to change the face of the nation’s politics,” Congress Investigational Corps member Wang Hsi (王希) said.

A Web site detailing the eight versions of the oversight bill is set to be launched on Wednesday next week to coincide with the movement’s anniversary, Wang said, adding that the group is planning a detailed online questionnaire to invite public participation.

Although President Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) administration has drafted one version of a cross-strait oversight bill, the proposal has been met with serious opposition from pro-independence groups.

The groups also urged comprehensive constitutional reforms, as events leading up to the Sunflower movement spurred discussion about the nation’s political institutions being unable to prevent presidential abuse of power.

A public forum on the oversight bill and constitutional reforms has been scheduled for Saturday next week, the groups said.

Headed by Sunflower leaders Lin Fei-fan (林飛帆) and Huang Kuo-chang (黃國昌), a separate rally is to take place on April 10, the one-year anniversary of the day that protesters ended their 23-day occupation of the legislature’s main chamber.


Source: Taipei Times - 2015/03/10



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Photo: Hsieh Chun-lin, Taipei Times

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