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Social, labor groups stage 'Autumn Struggle' protest (update)

2015/11/22 18:48:13

Taipei, Nov. 22 (CNA) Members of more than 50 social and labor groups took to the streets of downtown Taipei Sunday, kicking off the annual "Autumn Struggle" protest march under the themes of "uncovering the right wing's fake progress" and "the rising left wing wants real power."

During the protest parade, the civil groups campaigned for different causes which were divided into four categories: education, land, gender and laborers' rights.

The groups also questioned the ruling party's administrative efficiency in those fields and blamed the delays to Taiwan's social reforms on administrative incompetence.

Over 1,000 protesters, including members of 30 student organizations, gathered at Ketagalan Boulevard in front of the Presidential Office, before parading the streets that pass the Ministry of Education, the Ministry of the Interior, the Centers for Disease Control and the National Police Administrations.

They ultimately reached the campaign headquarters of Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) presidential candidate, Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文), where they set fire to a paper mache piglet painted green and blue to express their discontent with the performance of the ruling Kuomintang (KMT), which leads the "pan-blue" alliance, and the main opposition DPP, which heads the "pan-green" camp.

Before commencing the parade, Chuang Fu-kai (莊福凱), chairman of the Taoyuan Federation of Labor Unions, read aloud the 2015 Autumn Struggle Declaration, blasting both the KMT and DPP for favoring capitalism, adopting policies that favor certain syndicates and people with influence, and prioritizing economic growth above educational reforms, land usage, gender multiplicity and labor rights and benefits.

"Under the development of neoliberalism, what the blue and green have managed to consolidate is not Taiwan but collusion between government and business. And what they have lit is not Taiwan but opportunities for the rich and powerful and the syndicates," Chuang said.

He called for grassroots people to gather together so that they can be successful in striving for the benefit of 99 percent of the people, exposing the bloated slogans of the KMT and DPP, and enabling the voices of liberation by the left-wing to be heard.

The Autumn Struggle, part of a "turning left" social movement, started in 1988 with a rally of labor groups supporting a strike staged by bus drivers in Miaoli.

(By Zoe Wei and Elizabeth Hsu)