At the end of 2014 and at the start of 2015, New Bloom will be conducting a review of the year’s most noteworthy events. We have curated a selection of our own articles, as well as articles from outside sources, which we think were best represent the events of the past year.
The longstanding issues of forced land eviction in Taiwan, whether in urban centers as Taipei, or rural areas as Miaoli, remain unresolved. While Miaoli has been a hotbed issue in past years, following the demolition of the Chang Pharmacy, Miaoli was largely quiet for the past year. However, the demolition of the Wang family residence in Shilin, where members of the Wang family had been holding out against the developers of the Wenlin Yuan apartment complex, marked the unfortunate end of a prolonged struggle against forced urban eviction and urban renewal that had been going on for several years. Yet the question of urban eviction was raised again close to the end of the year regarding the forced evictions that would have to take place in Taoyuan County in order to develop the Taoyuan Aerotropolis complex near the site of Taoyuan International Airport.
Profile: Taiwan Alliance for Victims of Urban Renewal
New Bloom sat down with members of the Taiwanese Alliance for Victims of Urban Renewal to discuss their work opposing forced urban renewal and forced eviction in urban areas. The interview was part of a series of interviews conducted by New Bloom with Taiwanese NGOs and civil society organizations, so as to give international readers a sense of Taiwanese civil society.
A Tale of Two Arts Festivals
Blogger, writer on social issues, and author of Plane Truth: Aviation’s Real Impact on People and the Environment, Rose K. Bridger did a useful write-up of resistance to forced land eviction for the Taoyuan Aerotropolis. Bridger goes into not only the series of art pieces that were erected on-site as a means of protest, but also the grievances of Taoyuan residents who would be driven out for the completion of the building plan.
Interview: Hung Chun-Hsiu (洪淳修)
In August, New Bloom interviewed documentary filmmaker Hung Chun-Hsiu, director of The Lost Sea (刪海經). We discussed the filling in of the sea in Kinmen Island, effects upon fisherman, and land issues in which actions taken by the government for the interests of economic development affect fishermen, farmers, and those whose livelihood depends upon the land, as well as the historical contortions of Kinmen’s geopolitical history.
Civil Revolt in Miaoli County?
New Bloom editor Brian Hioe reflects upon unresolved issues of land eviction in regards to the Wang Family residence in Shilin, Taipei and similarly unresolved nature of forced land evictions in Miaoli, after the suspicious death of Chang Sen-wen, owner of the Chang Family Pharmacy. In attendance at the series of musical performances and film screenings that were held to commemorate the one year anniversary of the Chang Pharmacy demolition in Miaoli, Hioe also discusses the series of events that were held that day, and what the future of land eviction issues in Taiwan may be.
The 121st Day of the Songyan Occupation
On its 121st day, police made an attempt to evict the group of occupiers who had been camped outside the Songyan Cultural and Creative Park in order to protest the illegal removal of trees by construction companies with ties to organized crime. This is New Bloom editor Brian Hioe’s firsthand account of the eviction attempt and subsequent confrontation with the police, including interviews with occupiers, as the first journalist to arrive on-site after the eviction of either Taiwanese or international media.