Social Movements

Arrest Of Edward Leung Another Sign Of Repression Against Youth Activists In Hong Kong

Hong Kong localist Edward Leung pleading guilty to charges of assaulting a policeman, but rejecting riot charges, is the latest development in a series of arrests of high-profile social movement leaders which began since the jailing of the “Umbrella trio” of Joshua Wong, Nathan Law, and Alex Chow in August... Read More

Sit-In By EVA Flight Attendants Continues Into Third Day

An ongoing sit-in by EVA flight attendants, with several hundred EVA workers congregating outside EVA headquarters, continues the unionization drive in Taiwan’s airline industry most dramatically expressed in in the 2016 China Airlines strike, led by the Taoyuan Flight Attendant’s Union. EVA was one of the airlines which sought to unionize in the aftermath of the strike, despite that EVA has historically forbidden labor unions. The sit-in began on January 21st and has lasted for over 72 hours at this point... Read More

Questions After Residential Eviction Near Songshan Airport

The demolition last week of the home of Guo Tai-Song, the head of the Songshan Airport Forced Eviction Self-Help Organization, has raised questions for some. However, despite the demolition occurring in the middle of winter, as compared to other cases of forced residential eviction cases in urban areas, the case has received less attention from Taiwanese activists... Read More

Arrest Of Umbrella Movement Activists Is A Another Sign Of Political Repression

The arrest of leading Umbrella Movement figure Joshua Wong in Hong Kong, alongside other Umbrella Movement activists, probably surprises few. In particular, while Wong is currently out on bail from a six month jail sentence related to the Umbrella Movement, Wong was sent back to jail on a second set of charges, regarding Wong being held responsible for failing to comply with a police order to clear the Mong Kok encampment in Mong Kok... Read More

Aesthetics And Politics In Demonstrations Against Labor Law Changes

Although it may have failed in preventing the changes from passing in the end, demonstrations against the Tsai administration's changes to the Labor Standards Act developed a unique visual language. Namely, in the past few years, a sign of the “maturity” of any social movement in Taiwan is that movement developing a unique visual language of its own. We might examine the characteristics of protest art during demonstrations against the Labor Standards Act, then... Read More

DPP Allows Mining Companies To Sidestep Environmental Regulations

Outrage has broken out regarding a proposed, long controversial draft amendment to the Mining Act which would allow mining companies to sidestep environmental regulations and or measures taken to provide for indigenous rights. This is largely because of the DPP's unwillingness to confront large, powerful mining companies on the issue... Read More

A Coming Storm After The Passage Of Labor Law Changes?

With the passage of the Tsai administration’s planned changes to the Labor Standards Act this morning, it seems that organized labor, Taiwanese youth activists, and Third Force parties have suffered a defeat. But this may return to the present challenge of Taiwanese politics—to break with the DPP in a manner which advances the progressive politics which the DPP no longer is the standard bearer of... Read More

As Protests Continue, Why Is The DPP So Intent On Passing Labor Law Changes, Anyway?

The camp-out against the Tsai administration’s planned changes to the Labor Standards Act continues into its second day, with it being anticipated that the changes will see their third reading today within the Legislative Yuan. At this juncture, it may be useful to examine why exactly the DPP is so intent on passing through changes to the Labor Standards Act... Read More