Taiwan Church News
13 - 19 March, 2017
Professor Tsay Ting-kuei Leads The People To Take Down Chiang Kai-shek's Statue On 8 March
Reported by Lin Yi-yin and Chen Yi-fan
Seeing that most officially memorial ceremonies of 228 massacre in recent years shrank down into superficial rituals only, without any resolve to find out the truth or restore transitional justice back to the people, Professor Tsay Ting-kuei, a long-term street fighter and prison inmate for Taiwan independence and transitional justice, launched a non-violence street drama to pull down Chiang Kai-shek's statue at Keelung City on 8 March. Not only to mark the 70th anniversary of 228 massacre, this street drama event is also to remind Taiwan society that this very harbor side at Keelung City is the first site where KMT troops initiated their rampant shootings and then started the heinous massacre across Taiwan.
Professor Tsay remarked that the core ideas of this non-violence street drama, stipulated as no weapon, no attack, and no confrontation with the police, was aiming to remove the statue of Chiang Kai-shek who is widely recognized by the Taiwanese as the mastermind behind 228 massacre. "It is absolutely not an action of violence to hurt anybody, but a demonstration of our political resolve: if the government won't do anything substantial on transitional justice, like taking down the authoritarian statues of Chiang Kai-shek spread across Taiwan island, the citizen society will do it by themselves!", Professor Tsay said.
It's quite ironical that Taiwan government showcased a typical schizophrenic syndrome dealing with the 228 massacre event: on the one hand, the elected public offices would like to pay verbal apologies to those victims and their families; on the other hand, they would like to maintain status quo and keep intact all those past authoritarian symbols and statues in Taiwan. And this is the way Professor Tsay and his associates was treated by Keelung City Magistrate, Mr Lin Yu-chang, at a memorial ceremony of 228 massacre held at Keelung Maritime Plaza on 8 March.
Members of Taiwan Association of Transitional Justice were brutally robbed of their banners, read as "Don't forget Keelung's massacre" and "Get rid of the statues of the mastermind behind 228 / white terror perpetrators", when Mr Lin Yu-chang was going to deliver a speech in the memorial ceremony of 228 massacre at Keelung Maritime Plaza on 8 March. In this incident, due to the assistant stick of Mr Lin Su-chih, a white terror victim, was coercively confiscated by the police, a strong criticism was incurred accusing the ruthless intervention by the police was no different from KMT troops' barbarity in 228 massacre.
After this incident, Professor Tsay led his associates marching toward Keelung's railway station and intending to take down the statue of Chiang Kai-shek. As that statue was solidly protected by the police, to showcase their strongest protest to Keelung City government, Professor Tsay's associates performed their 228 street drama and lied down with blooded clothes on the plaza before the railway station to remind Taiwan society that Keelung City is still overshadowed by the statue of 228 massacre's mastermind standing at the public space of this great harbor city.
Speaking audaciously in the interview, Professor Tsay said, "[In Taiwan] it cost 40 days of jail to pull down a statue, 30 days to flare up a KMT's national flag. And nothing could be worse than that. If what I've done could push this government to move forward, everything would be worth it."
Translated by Peter Wolfe
Standing fearlessly in front of the banner, read "Set up transitional justice, take down Chiang Kai-shek's statue", Professor Tsay Ting-kuei demonstrate his political determination to move Taiwan forward at Keelung City on 8 March 2017.
To commemorate the 70th anniversary of 228 massacre, initiated by KMT troop's rampant shooting from Keelung City then across Taiwan island, a non-violence drama is performed in the plaza before the railway station of Keelung City on 8 March 2017.
Photos by Professor Tsay Ting-kuei