517 Rally: Stand Up for Taiwan!
On 517, Taiwanese will join hands with the international community to protest the the Ma administration’s gross abuse of power during the past year. We seek support from our friends in Taiwan and around the world to support this campaign and the 517 rally.
Background about the 517 Rally:
One year into the Ma Ying-jeou administration, not only has the 633 campaign promise (6% GDP growth, 3% unemployment, US$30,000 per capita income) been broken, but the nation has experienced its largest quarterly GDP decline of -8.36%, unemployment nearing 6%, and a drop in real wages of 3.13%. The Ma administration’s incompetence has brought untold suffering and marginalization to the people. In the face of our present economic difficulties and the tide of unemployment, the Ma administration has only one solution: a “One China market.”
Without providing adequate explanation to the people or performing a thorough cost-benefit analysis for different industries, the government is rushing into signing an Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA) with China. This will be a disaster for Taiwan’s manufacturers, laborers, and farmers, and the benefits will only be accrued to a minority of those in power with ties to China or large conglomerates. The people have already given the Ma administration a year, but what they have received in return is an economy in recession, hollowed out sovereignty, and a backsliding of democracy.
The purpose of the 517 rally is to voice our displeasure towards the Ma administration, gain support from the public, and speak out to the international community. Furthermore, we want to let the Ma administration know anything policies related to Taiwan’s sovereignty or the public interest must be approved by the democratic process of a national referendum in order to show our resolve that the people are in charge. 517
Protest Rally Joint Declaration
This has been a year of suffering and unhappiness for the Taiwanese people! Economic indicators have gone downward and nearly a million people have been beset with the pain of unemployment. Government officials utter meaningless words. The nation’s finances are deteriorating. Cross-strait policy has opened Taiwan’s front door. The government has virtually surrendered to China on the diplomatic battlefield. However, the Ma administration does not see the people’s dissatisfaction. It does not hear the people’s voice. A government that has demonstrated administrative incompetence sees China as Taiwan’s only path of survival. It has exchanged Taiwan’s sovereignty for benefits and privileges of those in power. It even wishes to take steps towards forming a one China market by signing an Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA) with China without legislative supervision or the approval of a national referendum. Many people are worried and unable to sleep at night over Taiwan’s leaning towards China. The Taiwanese people have already given the Ma administration a year. The crisis facing Taiwan continues to deepen: the compromise of sovereignty, the decline of the economy, and the regression of our democracy. We have had enough. We have decided to voice our anger at a pro-China, arrogant, and incompetent government! We want to let the international community see clearly a different view of Taiwanese society! People of Taiwan, see you on Ketagalan Boulevard on May 17th!
Thank you for your support, and viva Taiwan!!!
1.) Marchers will meet at four different locations at 2pm, and will depart at 3pm for Ketagalan Boulevard. Everyone will meet at Ketagalan Boulevard by 5pm.
A prominent DPP leader will march with the protesters from each meeting point.
Location #1: Zhongxiao East Road at the Dinghao Shopping Plaza
Location #2: Minzu West Road at the Zhongshan Soccer Stadium
Location #3: The corner of Xinsheng and Roosevelt Roads by the main gate of National Taiwan University
Location #4: Bangka Avenue at the Wanhua Train Station
2.) After the rally, the DPP will stage a 24 hour sit-in on Ketagalan Boulevard near the Presidential Palace to protest the strict new assembly law. This is only the second 24 hour sit-in in the DPP’s history. The last time was in 1993, for the presidential elections (before the first direct election in 1996). See you there!!!