Miles from Home

China Commentary– Youthful Musings on the Environment, Culture & Development

The Taiwan Situation: Corruption vs. Democracy

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TAIPEI, September 16-

since most of you would struggle to find this in the news, here is what’s happening in taiwan:

as many as 1 million people marched through the streets of the capital city last night demanding the resignation of the president due to his links to corruption. a sit-in was launched six days ago, right in the heart of the city, next to the equivalent of the US “white house”. it is a peaceful mass movement protest, a truly inspiring display of democracy and people choosing to ACT.

day and night, in the rain, regardless of the fact that taipei was almost hit by a typhoon (hurricane) this week, these people sit and chant and sing and LIVE. there is talk of a nationwide strike, which could cripple this country’s economy at the cost of $900 million USD per day. THE CITIZENS ARE FED UP WITH THE STATUS QUO AND ARE DEMANDING RESPONSIBILITY AND EFFECTIVENESS FROM THEIR GOVERNMENT.

it is truly invigorating to be here right now. it is essential to remind oneself that we, the people, create these governments. they are a manifestation of our collective cooperation. we as individuals shall always be superior to governments, shall always be responsible for our own creations and responsible for our own destinies.

i have been to the grounds twice now. it is an honest representation of the country, young and old, rich and poor. families have come. children are out of school. there is passion. the people all greet each other with smiles and thumbs-down, the symbolic gesture referring to the (in)adequacy of the president.

at first i thought i would remain an objective observer. i’m a realist. this is not my country, i thought. this is not my fight. but then it became apparent to me. this country has risen out of the seemingly eternal shadow of dictatorship to build a new democracy (against great odds, standing up to china). the two main parties, the KMT and the DPP, have both been riddled with scandal while in office. the people, rather than panicking, rather than turning to violence, and- more importantly- rather than becoming disheartened and uninvolved, have stood up for themselves.

i too shall always try to live up to my own expectations. i have the people of taiwan to thank for rekindling and reigniting my belief.

my love to to you all… and always, PEACE.

IF YOU ARE INTERESTED TO LEARN MORE:

here is a link to the front page story in today’s newspaper… http://www.taipeitimes.com/News/front/archives/2006/09/16/2003327826

this is some guy’s website that i found. he has some great shots of what is happening in taipei right now and some other nice shots. check it out… http://www.flickr.com/photos/bwpingu/

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Written by Miles

September 20, 2006 at 3:10 pm

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