Taiwan Artists Protest Ma Ying-jeou's Government Asleep at the Wheel

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Monday September 21, by Jerome F. Keating Ph.D.

On Saturday September 19th, a small but vocal and visual protest took to the streets of Taipei. It was roughly 1000 people or more (small by Taipei standards) but what made it different and unique was that it was spontaneously organized by concerned citizens in the artistic community of Taiwan and not any big political party machines. They named it the pajama parade for a government asleep at the wheel as far as protecting Taiwan's sovereignty and its democratic values were concerned. These marchers voiced their disdain with the incompetence of Ma Ying-jeou and his government; they expressed disgust with the kangaroo court trial of Chen Shui-bian and its unconstitutional abuse of power to prevent a proper defense; they came to say Taiwan deserved better and should have it.

The march began at National Taiwan University's main gate and proceeded down Roosevelt Road. It ended peacefully at Democracy Square, yes that same square that some want to re-name for the dead dictator of Taiwan's past. A music concert followed.

Artistic freedom is one of the many freedoms of a democracy; it is a shame that the autocrats in that other country on the other side of the Taiwan Strait can't understand such a concept. Perhaps they don't want to because they would then have to share the power, control and privilege that they and their lackeys enjoy.

To see photos go to "Protest Art" in blue on the left; click it and go to the sub-album for the Pajama Parade. Remember individual photos can be enlarged by moving the cursor to find full resolution and clicking it.