Jan 13 Protest Brings Out the Crowds But Even More Trouble Looms on the Horizon

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Thursday January 17, by Jerome F. Keating Ph.D.

The Protest on January 13th was very successful in expressing the voice of dissatisfaction among the people. And if there are any in Washington DC or China who think that the Taiwanese are happy with the direction that the Ma government is trying to take Taiwan, they can be classified as "self-delusional fools." There can be no doubt that in the minds of some in DC and Beijing that they think that they can settle the Taiwan matter between themselves; such thinking is paternalistic and as I said self-delusional. Hopefully, there are at least some wiser and more perceptive minds in Washington.

That said, the protest did mobilize the people--the name was "Fury" to express utter dissatisfaction with the government, but in true Taiwanese fashion, such protests are not angry, confrontational works of art; rather they are almost festive in tone and surprising in creativity.

There were groups that protested the unfair selective 18 per cent interest retirement funds that the KMT favored with to buy their loyalty in the one-party state days. There was a group of women in bridal attire saying the current economy makes it impossible for us to marry; there were housewives protesting the continued rising prices, there were protesters from the Taidun Miramar Bay Hotel where the government ignored the courts and allowed the building to proceed and ruin the environment; there were decorated dogs; you name it there were dissatisfied groups.

The Ma government will no doubt continue to ignore the voice of the people feeling it is doing what some in Washington and Beijing want, but that is not in tune with the continued growing identification of the people with Taiwan and a smoldering resentment against such outside paternalism. The next step will be to connect the dots and realize that the only way to stop such is at the ballot box and vote the ruling party out.

In the meantime, a different note was the Ma government saying that it will give up trying to spy on China--this baffles the mind as no nation would not keep a watch on others, even their allies. Stay tuned.