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  Darren M / © Darren Melrose      Project : Is it a protest if noone comes
What if they held a protest and noone came? As I write this, it appears that this could almost come true here in Taipei. Knowing the Taiwanese and their political enthusiasm, that seems unlikely, but after day one not much has happened.

The story behind this set is the protesting by the supporters of the ex dictator Chiang KaiShek and those who oppose him. Actually, like most everything in Taiwan, it comes down to a battle of wills between the two major political parties, the KuoMingTan (KMT, Chinese Nationalist Party) and the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP). The Taiwanese are incredibly polarized; in comparison, the American Democrats and Republicans do little more than sit around all day chanting Kumbaya. To say there is animosity between the two is like saying the Grand Canyon is a pretty big hole.

The latest battleground is taking place at the Taiwan Democracy Memorial, which used to go by the name of Chiang KaiShek Memorial Hall. I won't go into the whole history, but suffice it to say that Chiang is a very divisive figure in Taiwan today. The whole park area, it is much more than just a hall, has officially been known as the Taiwan Democracy Monument for a number of months now; the last step is to take down the name above the entrance gate.

This is where things are coming to a head. The land is federally controlled, but it is on city property. Right now, the DPP are the party in power nationally, but Taipei itself is a KMT area and the mayor and most of the city government are members of the KMT. The feds have ordered the sign to come down, while the city government has declared the area a historical landmark, one where no alterations are allowed. The city has promised legal action against not only the DPP/feds, but also against any contractor who does the work. This could involve fines and/or jailtime. The protest over the sign change started today, but as it turns out, I think the sign is actually slated for removal on Thursday (two days from now).

I arrived at the grounds today to find about 15-20 newspaper photographers and reporters, at least ten television crews and five actual protesters. The media was lined up in order to interview these precious few protesters; there weren't enough to go around.

I am sure the momentum will build, this is Taiwanese politics after all, but for today it was almost comical as to the balance of media vs. actual political activists. It was as though they decided to have a protest, but forgot to send out the invitations.

I work very close to the area, so I will wander by daily; I hope I can come up up with enough photos to tell this story. I most certainly don't have them yet.

20 photos 0 draft - completed on 29/02/2008 -



And the Band Plays On
© Darren Melrose  Darren M
12/01/2008    2 comm. photo
Reloaded
And the Band Plays On
© Darren Melrose  Darren M
12/01/2008   2 comm. photo
Any Story Will Do
© Darren Melrose  Darren M
10/01/2008    1 comm. photo
Reloaded
Any Story Will Do
© Darren Melrose  Darren M
10/01/2008   1 comm. photo
An Odd Confrontation
© Darren Melrose  Darren M
07/01/2008    2 comm. photo
Reloaded
An Odd Confrontation
© Darren Melrose  Darren M
07/01/2008   2 comm. photo
And Up Goes a Protester
© Darren Melrose  Darren M
04/01/2008    5 comm. photo
Reloaded
And Up Goes a Protester
© Darren Melrose  Darren M
04/01/2008   5 comm. photo
Up Go the Barriers
© Darren Melrose  Darren M
03/01/2008    3 comm. photo
Reloaded
Up Go the Barriers
© Darren Melrose  Darren M
03/01/2008   3 comm. photo
What is Being Protected
© Darren Melrose  Darren M
29/12/2007    2 comm. photo
Reloaded
What is Being Protected
© Darren Melrose  Darren M
29/12/2007   2 comm. photo
Taking Things Seriously
© Darren Melrose  Darren M
27/12/2007    4 comm. photo
Reloaded
Taking Things Seriously
© Darren Melrose  Darren M
27/12/2007   4 comm. photo
At Last
© Darren Melrose  Darren M
26/12/2007    5 comm. photo
Reloaded
At Last
© Darren Melrose  Darren M
26/12/2007   5 comm. photo
The Easiest Job
© Darren Melrose  Darren M
25/12/2007    2 comm. photo
Reloaded
The Easiest Job
© Darren Melrose  Darren M
25/12/2007   2 comm. photo
Holding on to the Dictator
© Darren Melrose  Darren M
20/12/2007    3 comm. photo
Reloaded
Holding on to the Dictator
© Darren Melrose  Darren M
20/12/2007   3 comm. photo
Pamphlets
© Darren Melrose  Darren M
19/12/2007    6 comm. photo
Reloaded
Pamphlets
© Darren Melrose  Darren M
19/12/2007   6 comm. photo
The Lonely Demonstrator
© Darren Melrose  Darren M
16/12/2007    4 comm. photo
Reloaded
The Lonely Demonstrator
© Darren Melrose  Darren M
16/12/2007   4 comm. photo
The Star of the Show
© Darren Melrose  Darren M
06/12/2007    7 comm. photo
Reloaded
The Star of the Show
© Darren Melrose  Darren M
06/12/2007   7 comm. photo
One is the Loneliest Number
© Darren Melrose  Darren M
05/12/2007    4 comm. photo
Reloaded
One is the Loneliest Number
© Darren Melrose  Darren M
05/12/2007   4 comm. photo
A Bad Start
© Darren Melrose  Darren M
04/12/2007    6 comm. photo
Reloaded
A Bad Start
© Darren Melrose  Darren M
04/12/2007   6 comm. photo
The Anti Climax
© Darren Melrose  Darren M
10/02/2008    2 comm. photo
Reloaded
The Anti Climax
© Darren Melrose  Darren M
10/02/2008   2 comm. photo
Winning (For Now)
© Darren Melrose  Darren M
13/02/2008    2 comm. photo
Reloaded
Winning (For Now)
© Darren Melrose  Darren M
13/02/2008   2 comm. photo
Rallying the Troops
© Darren Melrose  Darren M
17/02/2008    3 comm. photo
Reloaded
Rallying the Troops
© Darren Melrose  Darren M
17/02/2008   3 comm. photo
Flag Waving
© Darren Melrose  Darren M
18/02/2008    4 comm. photo
Reloaded
Flag Waving
© Darren Melrose  Darren M
18/02/2008   4 comm. photo
Post Script: The Reduction of Chiang
© Darren Melrose  Darren M
29/02/2008    3 comm. photo
Reloaded
Post Script: The Reduction of Chiang
© Darren Melrose  Darren M
29/02/2008   3 comm. photo

 
 

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