Taipei, June 15 (CNA) A rally organized by New Power Party (NPP) Legislator Huang Kuo-chang (黃國昌) is scheduled to take place in Taipei on June 23, to call on Taiwanese people to reject "red media" and safeguard the nation's democracy.
The rally will kick off at 2 p.m. on Ketagalan Boulevard in front of the Presidential Office amid "threats of infiltration by the authoritarian Chinese Communist regime to Taiwanese people's hardearned democracy," Huang recently announced on Facebook.
"We can no longer sit by as those 'red media' outlets chime in with the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), aiding it to push Taiwan to the edge of a cliff," said Huang, a key proponent for anti-media monopoly initiatives since 2012.
Huang said the rally is aimed at bringing together people who cherish Taiwan's freedom and democracy, loathe united-front tactics by Beijing to divide and spread disinformation, and are fed up with how journalistic professionalism and news articles have been bought and sold.
The rally came into being after Youtube celebrity Holger Chen (陳之漢) denounced the CCP's authoritarian rule in a live-streaming session on Tuesday and accused what he saw as China-leaning Taiwanese media outlets for intentionally avoiding covering the large-scale protests in Hong Kong in early June against a controversial extradition bill.
Chen then invited Huang to organize a rally against "red media" outlets, an offer the NPP lawmaker quickly accepted. On Thursday, Huang managed to obtain the right to use the Ketagalan Boulevard on June 23.
"People see everyday how such unscrupulous media outlets have taken up our cable and TV resources -- which are public resources -- and play along with the CCP to divide Taiwan. We are all fed up," Huang told CNA.
Given the public's growing concerns about the issue, Huang said the rally will have three appeals: boycott "red media" outlets by consumers, rigorous enforcement of the law by the government to discipline media exhibiting questionable conduct, and expedited efforts by lawmakers to strengthen existing regulations.
Huang said the NPP has done its part in the last appeal, citing the party's submission on May 3 of draft amendments to the Radio and Television Act, the Cable Radio and Television Act, and the Satellite Broadcasting Act, in the hope of barring Taiwanese corporations funded or subsidized by the Chinese government or affiliated groups to directly or indirectly operate or control cable radio stations and TV channels in Taiwan.
The party also drew up a draft amendment to the National Security Act on May 17 that seeks to prohibit Taiwan's cable radio, TV channel or satellite broadcasting proprietors from "spreading false information that could undermine national security or the country's free and democratic constitutional order" at the behest of hostile outside forces and international terrorist groups, he said. All four bills are awaiting committee reviews.
Since the rally was announced earlier this week, Huang said he has been inundated with messages of support from non-governmental groups and ordinary people.
"We have been getting tons of messages from people offering to donate materials like water, or composing songs for the event," he said, adding that his call for volunteers also attracted more than 300 people within a day, far surpassing the original goal of 100.
He said his office has begun inviting presidential candidate hopefuls and other political heavyweights to attend the rally.