- Posted March 30, 2014 by
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Protesters occupy Taiwan legislature
March 30, 2014 Sunflower Movement Speech in Taiwan [ENGLISH translation]
This is an English translation of the speech delivered by Student Leader Mr. Lin Fei-fan on March 30, 2014 to (an estimated) 500,000 protesters in Taiwan.
(All credits for the translations and photos belong to their respective owners.)
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[FULL SPEECH - Student leader Lin Fei-fan speaks on Ketagalan Boulevard, Mar. 30, 2014] ENGLISH VERSION
(Photo courtesy of ettoday.net)
To all the brave, strong, kindhearted, powerful souls of Taiwan:
We have occupied the parliament for a full 13 days. We have shed many tears; some of us outside the parliament have shed blood; all of us have been through much suffering. Many comrades have said at times, they wish they could go back home. But we did not leave, we hung on, and we secured the parliament. Those of us outside of the Legislative Yuan endured sun, wind and rain for 13 days. Our action has made national history that can never be obliterated.
History was written from the day we occupied the parliament. This was not because of what we did, but because THROUGH what we did, we have profoundly challenged the current system and democracy of our country, while also redefining the relationship between Taiwan and China. We showed the government that Taiwan’s future belongs to its 23 million people. We should be the ones to decide our future.
For the past 13 days, the media spotlight has been on specific people involved in this movement. I must emphasize that what we have accomplished here does not belong to just me—Lin Fei-fan—or Chen Wei-ting. Instead, the credit goes to everyone who has supported us; all those who have stayed inside and outside the parliament these past 13 days. The public has put too much focus on me and Chen, calling us the “director-generals” of this movement. But it doesn’t belong to just the two of us. It belongs to everyone. It belongs to you. You, the people of Taiwan, are the director-generals of this country!
Now we must give direct orders to a government that has lost self-control. President Ma, please follow the orders of your people!
Throughout the movement, we have asked for four things:
First, send back the Cross-Strait Service Trade Agreement.
Second, draft a Cross-Strait Negotiations Monitoring Act. This is a special law, not an executive order. Our demand for legislation before review has been stressed and re-stressed since day one, without any alteration. Public opinion that intended to mislead have neither penetrated nor weakened us.
Third, conduct a Citizens' Constitutional Assembly, for the government has lost its authority to rule this country. The assembly should be convened by the people, and joined by political and social representatives from all sectors, so as to resolve the current impasse and create new prospects for this system.
Fourth, we ask all legislators, ruling and opposition, to stand by the people, and acknowledge the appeals made by these same people.
We have made this very clear since day one: Taiwan’s representative system and democracy has been thoroughly destroyed by an autocratic and dominant authority. The current representative democracy has been devoured by party discipline and personal will, and is no longer capable of responding earnestly to its people. Because of this, we occupied the parliament and took back what was rightfully ours--our voices.
President Ma’s press conference yesterday showed him smiling and speaking in a kind voice, as if he has taken our demands into consideration. However, he has made no concrete guarantees in his answers. Therefore, we will not stop here. We will continue to occupy the parliament. And we know that all the citizens will stand by us.
Today is not the end. Today, five hundred thousand people took to the streets. Once again, we have gone down in history. Because of that, you deserve a round of applause for yourselves. What began as a student movement has brought together the entire society. What you’re seeing right here is not something that could be carried out by students single-handedly; it is due to the joint power demonstrated by all the citizens in Taiwan. That is why that this victory, this accomplishment, belongs to you all.
It is seven o’clock now, and we will keep our word. Before this rally, we made it clear that it will demonstrate the collective will of the Taiwanese people in a calm, non-violent fashion. We told President Ma and his administration that we’ll end this rally on time, by seven o’clock this evening.
Now, I want you all to turn your heads and look at the ones beside you. Look into their eyes, get to know them, take down their contact information. I’m not joking! Starting tomorrow, you and seven of your friends will arrange a schedule from Monday to Sunday to take shifts at the parliament.
Today is not the end, but tonight we must end this by seven The Ketagalan Boulevard rally draws to a close here. I say to the five hundred thousand Taiwanese citizens who have come today, thank you all, thank you!
Now, please raise your right hands with me. President Ma, please listen to your people, the citizens of Taiwan.
Come out and answer! Make concrete promises!
Send back the trade deal! Defend our democracy!
Legislation before review!
Everyone, remember to get the contacts of seven people beside you. Tomorrow afternoon, arrange your shifts, and come to the parliament!
People come forward! Taiwan is in our hands!
People come forward! There is hope for Taiwan!