Millions people depose Bien

2006-09-05 - cityghost

From early middle August, 2006, a former anti-KMT fascism protester ‘Shi-Ming-De(施明德)’ pronounced to have a sit-in protest against Taiwan president “Chen-Shui-Bien(陳水扁)’on 9 of September. He called for people who detested Chen’s scandal to donate 100nt dollars for the cost of the protest, and when the donation reached a hundreds of millions, it would imply that there were millions of people supporting the ‘Depose Bien Headquarter(倒扁總部). The headquarter will mobilize the demonstration in the ‘Kai-Da-Ge-Lan avenue(凱達格蘭大道)’, which is a well known protesting place in front of the presidential office.

Mr. Shi is one of the prisoners in the well known ‘Mei-Li-Dao incident(beauty island)(美麗島事件)’ back in 1979. The prisoners are called the ‘beauty island epoch(美麗島世代)’ , for those who belongs to that epoch, and joined Democratic Progressive Party (民進黨, DPP) had played important roles afterward. The political party is established in 1986, one year before the end of the martial law and the purpose is to defeat KMT. For most people in Taiwan, the ‘beauty island epoch’ had strong symbolic meaning associated with ‘democracy’ and ‘liberty’. And for president Chen, he was one of the lawyers defending the prisoners of the ‘beauty island’. Most people from the ‘beauty island epoch’ had faded out in the past few years, but the interesting thing is, the DPP just got into the ruling position for a few years (since 2000). After Shi had launched the demonstration, the confrontation between the former lawyer and former prisoner become the dramatic part of it.

President Chen’s relatives, including his wife, his son-in-law had been pointed at having improper incomes and using improper receipts for reimbursing national expenses. Although charges are still in judicature process, and yet to be verified, but a number of former scholars and politicians who used to support Chen had already started to condemn Chen. Call-in programs also opened fire against the president. One the other hand, Chen's support had also taken action to show their support towards Chen, ‘the son of Taiwan’, the first ‘local’ president who don’t belong to KMT.

The ‘Millions people depose Bien(百萬倒扁)’ action had collected 109 million and 18 thousand(1億918萬新台幣)NT dollars on August/24, so they had closed the account and started the sit-in demonstration rehearsal on September/01.

The action tried to focus on ‘corruption’. However, because of Shi's determination in deposing Chen, it turned into a decisive struggle between Shi and Chen and made the action more like a combat between ‘beauty island epoch’ and ‘the lawyer epoch (most of the important officials in the government are former lawyers)’. Therefore, it also signified a transition on DPP’s ruling era. However, the significance of anti-corruption would play a major part in the long run for Taiwan history: Had people realized that the DPP candidate made no difference compared with the KMT during martial law era? Would they understood the ‘depose action’ as a ‘combat between people and the ruling class’, not between political parties (colors)?

Although Mr. Shi doesn’t belong to the Pan-Blue camp and he has not used any nationalism discourses on this action, but if we see the society as a whole and carefully cut-in the power relationship beneath it, then ‘nationalism’ may still play important roles.

The DPP Pan-green camp(泛綠) has long history using Taiwanese-independent-nationalism against KMT Pan-blue camp's(泛藍)Republic-of-china-nationalism (different from people’s republic of china). This time, in order to maintain ruling position of the 'Son–Of-Taiwan', which mean Chen or the DPP at large, the Pan-green is back to their nationalistic discourses against KMT and the evil of martial law era set by KMT’, under the Pan-Green discourse, anyone against Chen is evil. Then the spectre of ‘nationalism’ may still plays a large parts in the confrontation between ‘Depose Bien’ and ‘Against depose’. If the situation continues, the action would probably not only turn into combat between different nationalists, but also turn into another combat just between DPP and KMT, which focus on 2008 presidential election, whereas issues concerning the political corruption of ruling class against people's interest would not be addressed.

This may raise another question: it is obvious that the corruption scandals of the ruling class had violated people's interest, but can we identify and speak out the specific social issues related to such political corruption? Can we see such issues addressed by the ‘Depose Chen’ action? What people are facing is a politic-economic structure that deprives them of their rights and interest, but how to address the real social and political issues?

To sum up, the ‘depose’ will start from September/09, let us start our observation from things mentioned above: A) the floating spectre of nationalism how it work on both colors and how other forces work among this power relation, B) can people get rid of nationalism, speak out their real social issues, and distinct the oppressed from the oppressor, and C) how actions and discourses from radical activists work in this demonstration.

18 Apr18:00

comparing philippine, taiwan

By hoidick

comparing philippine, taiwan and south korea
Submitted by oiwan on Wed, 2006-09-06 13:38.

they have the democratization about the same time.

in philippine, the Marcos family was totally rid out of scene. corruption is now very serious with the democratic regime, people are aware of it and know exactly how they suffer from it. but every president had failed them. nothing have been changed even there were no party politics.

in s.korea, the conservative parties are still there. the democratic parties to some extend has changed the political and social structure of s.korea by political and economic liberalism. the civil society (e.g trade union) has successfully formulate anti-neo liberalism discourses since the financial crisis. now they citicize the liberal government in terms of "policy" and its impact towards people rather than being caught in the party politics.(although party politics is still pretty strong).

now back to taiwan, are there any political discourse produced by the civil society sector that can address the problems within the political structure? a simple dichotomy between ruling class and people cannot solve the problem. to me, shi ming de is creating such dichotomy as well by calling himself and the protest participants "the nobody commons" (烏合之眾).

Submitted by cityghost on Wed, 2006-09-06 23:52.

i think philippine and s. Korea both have stronger left wing then Taiwan. especially on organizing crowds. that would be one of the factors that make these three counties different.of course, each have their own history and context. as u said, Mr. Shi did call him and the supporters 'the nobody commons'.but we should observe it more before

u r right on "a simple dichotomy between ruling class and people cannot solve the problem". but that is not easy for a society just faced a strong combat between tow kinds of nationalisms. for those who strongly support on one side, it is not easy to allow people to critique whom they support in a gathering which is going to critique the other side.

so, to me, if people who depose Bien can allow others to have strong critique on Ma or KMT or the Pan-Blue, that will be a big progress.that means when protesting, we can alway hear critiques on Pan-Blue at the same time.

if so, then people might have the ability to make the agenda.

for now, left wing activists are trying to open some space for social issues, but those who starts the protest (like Shi),are not doing the same thing, they only have one slogan: depose Bien.

what we need, now, is to open spaces and understand 'depose Bien' is not only about "Bien" himself, but most importantly is the structure (say, the democratic system which follows US logic).

is 'a simple dichotomy between ruling class and people cannot solve the problem'? no, because what we are wiating is when the marginal voices have political power to determine, and waiting the radical voices can survive between Green and blue.

is 'a simple dichotomy between ruling class and people cannot solve the problem'? Yes, it is a start, just after we faced the '2004/Mar/19 two bullet', which both sides strongly mobIlizde their crowds by nationalism.

others may have different analysis, but in my opinion, to get rid of nationalism is the decisive agenda which dominants for now, in such a situation, most protesters will not notice that whom they support might be the same as whom they depose. that's the issue i'm interested most.

in solidarity.
» delete | edit | reply
Submitted by oiwan on Tue, 2006-09-05 22:56.

work with cityghost to edit this story via sms. the last part maybe a bit deviated from city ghost's original idea, because he has to go off-line...
» delete | edit | reply
Submitted by cityghost on Wed, 2006-09-06 02:02.

i had a rewrite after got home,i think there are some misunderstandings, but i don;t know what's the problem. maybe i should try to put more contexts so that u can understand why i think this way.

and i also want to say to chong that i need more time to finish the whole story, especially things are still in-process.

to sum up, my personal view is to consider thing 'in a power relation', people who don't think they have 'color problems' doesn't mean they don't have it, what matters to me are at least :A) identity is not only i self description it also relates to how the Other thinks. B)can people who don't matter color be organized and show their power.

so, to focus on 'corruption' mean nothing to whether nationalism or not, we have to put discourses from the other side together, and we need to see if people can find out they are not face 'pan green' or not, people can easily say they are not lead by colors, but if not, can we show the oppressions? and also, can the pan-green be changed by finding out the oppressions? will the pan-blue politicians use those former pan-greens to fight Chen?

this is a complex structure-relationship, we'r still looking for radical voices to
occupy even from discourse or political action.

in solidarity.