THE ANTI-TEXTBOOK REVISION MOVEMENT IN TAIWAN
FROM THE SUNFLOWER MOVEMENT TO THE ANTI-TEXTBOOK REVISION MOVEMENT
Looking back we can maybe say that in some way that the textbook protests which have rocked Taiwan in the past week occurred in the shadow of last year’s Sunflower Movement. Though I think it true to say that the movement eventually developed its own identity as distinct from the Sunflower Movement, this was true from the beginning, where the original plan to surround the Ministry of Education which was publicly announced by activists several months in advance was called a “Second Sunflower Movement.” With the end of the occupation, if we are to look back on the movement, was it really a second Sunflower Movement?
THE CRISIS OF TAIWANESE POLITICS AS EXPRESSED THROUGH THE ANTI-TEXTBOOK REVISION MOVEMENT?
Political reactions to the occupation were revealing is in regards to the deep splits within the KMT which have been made quite evident in recent days. The strategy by which the DPP has positioned itself relative to the textbook controversy are also in some way revealing of its current stances relative to issues which have been raised since last year’s Sunflower Movement concerning KMT authoritarianism—and more broadly threats to maintaining Taiwan’s status of de facto independence relative to China. Lastly, the role of independent political forces within Taiwanese society at present can also be seen from how they engaged with the political crisis.
FOR TRULY DEMOCRATIC EDUCATION, TAIWANESE MUST OVERTHROW CAPITALISM!
Taiwanese conservatives, “Left” unificationists, and ultra-left sectarians, all happen to understand the non-stop stream of student movement as the DPP’s manipulation of nationalism, or its buying of the agitation of young students of Taiwan. This kind of short-sighted and limited analysis, only reflects the lack of understanding of how society changes, but also lacks a recognition of the political and economic reasons for the growing anti-government demonstration
WHY ARE SELF-PROCLAIMED MEMBERS OF THE TAIWANESE RADICAL LEFT AFRAID OF THE ANTI-TEXTBOOK REVISION MOVEMENT?
Why are certain self-proclaimed members of Taiwan’s radical Left so afraid of the current anti-textbook revision movement? And in this case, it would look like the political Left is afraid of a bunch of children—high schoolers, that is. So very radical that is. Going back to last year’s Sunflower Movement, once again we find ourselves in the situation where a small segment of the self-proclaimed Left backs away from a mass uprising of Taiwanese society, proclaiming it to be a mere expression of right-wing populism.
FIVE DAYS OF STRUGGLE AGAINST BLACK BOX EDUCATION IN TAIWAN
After an attempt to occupy the Ministry of Education on July 23rd in which student occupiers got as far as the office of the Minister of Education, since July 30th the Ministry of Education courtyard has been occupied after demonstrators forced down the razor wire barriers and pushed back the police the night of the 30th. The actions of July 30th had been motivated by the suicide of Lin Kuanhua, a student activist who was apparently the first of the student occupiers who was arrested in the Minister of Education’s office. Five days into the occupation we might note international responses to date and future prospects for the movement.
LEGALIZING GAY MARRIAGE IN TAIWAN IN WAKE OF THE SCOTUS DECISION
美國民主黨總統大選候選人希拉蕊．柯林頓 24 號在臉書公佈了她最新的競選短片，以數個同志婚禮場景的影像，並以自己的聲音做旁白，表明自己對同志權益特別是對同志婚姻的支持。諷刺的是，希拉蕊在 2013 年之前都曾數次表達自己反同婚的立場，例如她在 2008 年角逐民主黨總統候選人時的理念，認為婚姻是屬於「一個男人和一個女人間的結合」。當去年民主黨黨內總統候選人初選正如火如荼進行中時，在一則 National Public Radio 的訪問裡，希拉蕊表明他支持「同志權利即是人權」的立場，但這些權利必須讓各州政府去決定，換句話說，她並不支持同志婚姻在國家聯邦層級受到認可。
THE STATE AND THE ENVIRONMENTAL MOVEMENT IN ASIA
HOW COULD A DEMONSTRATION OF 50,000 IN SHANGHAI NOT BE REPORTED ON IN INTERNATIONAL MEDIA?
Shanghai in the last month has seen massive mobilizations, some reports of which claim that up to 50,000 participated in environmental demonstrations against the building of a chemical plant. This has not at all been reported upon in western media, although details in Sinophone media are also sparse. The past week of actions dates to June 22nd, when a demonstration in which protestors occupied the space outside the Jinshui District Government in the suburb of Jinshui, Shanghai. Protestors were demonstrating against the building of a PX chemical plant in Shanghai, despite government claims that such a plant was not being built.