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.
While nuclear power has been protested in Taiwan for decades, the past year was an eventful one for anti-nuclear activists. Apart from a large-scale protest in March, immediately preceding the Sunflower Movement, which drew tens of thousands onto the streets of Taipei, immediately following the end of the occupation of the Legislative Yuan, nuclear power became a hotbed issue with the hunger strike of well-respected democracy activist and former chairman of the DPP Lin Yi-Hsiung against nuclear power in Taiwan. This culminated in the occupation of major intersection Zhongxiao West Road on April 27th by over 50,000, protestors only being driven away later that night through the use of riot police and tear gas.
With the “temporary halt” of construction on the controversial Nuclear Reactor No. 4 in Gongliao, the Taiwanese anti-nuclear movement would seem to have won a victory, but it remains a question as to whether construction will resume in the future, what to do about Taiwan’s other nuclear reactors, and what to do with nuclear waste which has been disposed of in the past, for example, through waste disposal on Orchid Island (蘭嶼) by leading the Taiwanese indigenous people residing on the island into believing that the waste disposal facility was a canning plant. Likewise, with the possibility of nuclear restarts in Japan once again, so far as radiation contamination is a threat which crosses borders, the nuclear issue remains on the table, raising questions of international coordination regarding nuclear power.
Interview: Ian Thomas Ash
New Bloom sat down in Tokyo with Ian Thomas Ash, documentary film director residing in Japan, regarding his work and his documentation of children affected by radiation from the Fukushima incident in his film A2-B-C. A2-B-C was screened in Taiwan in the past year to much fanfare, as part of the No Nukes Film Festival organized by the Green Citizens’ Action Alliance, and at the weekly anti-nuclear demonstration 5-6 Movement (五六運動).
Profile: Green Citizens’ Action Alliance
New Bloom interviewed Hui-Min Lu of environmental and anti-nuclear NGO Green Citizens’ Action Alliance regarding GCAA’s work in the anti-nuclear movement, it’s relation to other civil society organization, and the recent challenges faced by the Taiwanese anti-nuclear movement despite the apparent successes of the past year. 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.