I stopped by the student protest in front of the gate of NCKU on Da Shue Rd in Tainan and spoke to a spokesperson for the protesters:
How long are you going to be out here?
"We are going to stay until tuesday. If the government hasn't given us a response by then, we'll probably continue. But we'll vote on that. If everyone decides to continue, then we'll continue."
Has the government contacted you yet?
They've talked to the people in Taipei, but not directly to us. But we are in contact with Taipei and Taichung, where we are carrying out this activity as well. If they get a response in Taipei we'll hear about it.
So what do you call yourselves? The Wild Strawberries? Why that?
Because people say -- in Taiwan many of the media organizations say -- that young people are just like strawberries [weak and easily bruised --mt]. We think we're not like that, and we wanted to show that we could do something.
So you didn't want to recall the "White Lily" student movement of the late 1980s?
We didn't really hope to do that. Many of those people have gone on to enter political parties, and we didn't want people to see us as supporting or connected to one party or the other.
What are these three goals?
First, we hope that President Ma and Premier Liu will apologize for the recent police violence. Our second goal is that the heads of the National Police Administration and the National Security Administration step down. Third, we hope that the Assembly and Parade Law will be revised. We ask that it be revised in four directions. First, we'd like to change the application for a parade permit to a notification system, just like in the US, where you just notify the police that you will march, instead of asking permission to hold a march. That way the police will not be saying who can protest and who can't. The second thing we want changed is the Police Administrative Judgment authority. At present the police can decide when they will go arrest people and when they won't. [drowned out by traffic and crowd noises.] The third change we want is that at present violations of the Assembly and Parade Law are criminal acts under the law and determined under criminal law, so you can be sent to jail for a year or two years, for example. We believe that this is against the freedom of the people. We want that changed so that violations fall under the administrative laws and only fines are handed out for violations of the Assembly and Parade Law, so you won't get a year or two for violations of the law. Finally, we want them to lift the restrictions on places where assemblies and parades can be held. These restrictions are a violation of the basic rights and freedoms laid out in the Constitution. Now [the Assembly and Parade] law is clearly of lower status than the Constitution, but it has [unintelligible] the Constitution. So we think it should be revised.
NOTES: The interview was conducted in Chinese and recorded on my Canon Powershot IS S5 with the permission of the speaker. This is a translation, with some of the more informal and repetitive language paraphrased. Between the passers-by, the protesters chanting, and the traffic, a few parts are not clear.
UPDATE: ETaiwan News' excellent article on the Wild Strawberry protests.