Daily Bloom is the shortform blog of New Bloom, covering breaking news events as they occur in real-time.
As we enter the third into fourth day of the Ministry of Education occupation, little progress would seem to have been made on the possibility of negotiating with the government regarding the demands made by student occupiers. Three demands would seem to have emerged from present protests: first, to have a open discussion in the Legislative Yuan regarding present circumstances, second, to repeal the planned textbook revision, and third, for Minister of Education Wu Se-Hwa to resign. But how these demands to be met is what remains under question.
A rally began last night at 7:30 PM, involving speeches and musical performances. The rally attracted quite possibly up to one thousand participants. However, in the absence of any planned action or any attempt to resolve present circumstances it does not seem as though the Ministry of Education occupation may go any farther. Noticeably, the number of participants in last night’s rally actually seems to be less than Friday night. It may be that the novelty of protests attracted more participants on Friday night, but that protests were entering their their day made protests less drawing of members of the public. Another rally is planned for today at 4:00 PM. Yet in the absence of galvanizing action, it does not appear that present circumstances will necessarily attract more participants.
Controversial still has been the revelation in the past day that the mother of Lin Guan-Hua, whose suicide precipitated current protests, largely took the line the Ministry of Education asked her to. This was apparently the reason why, to much criticism, Lin’s mother had expressed disapproval of protests to date and the reason why Wu Se-Hwa, visited her immediately following Lin’s suicide. It was well known, after all, that Lin’s parents were in disagreement to his political views. However, though Lin’s parents had been the object of criticism for much of the past several days because of the perception of their having driven Lin to suicide—but it appears that the political views of Lin’s mother may be changing, where she posted a note to Facebook yesterday express a more supportive appreciation of Lin’s action.
Yet what we might note instead is the absence of a concerted response to protests by the DPP and affiliated groups. It may be that the DPP is attempting to avoid controversy at present in the lead-up to election season, although previously it might have jumped on-board the spontaneous emergence of such a protest movement at present as a means to discredit the KMT.
Author: Brian Hioe
Photo Credit: Brian Hioe
Biography: Brian Hioe (丘琦欣) is an M.A. student at Columbia University, a freelance writer on politics and social activism, and an occasional translator. He is a resident of Taipei, Taiwan.