Photos above are from Jimmy Tseng. See more of his images on flickr.
So. A key legislative building is now being occupied by students in Taiwan, tens of thousands of people are rallying in the streets outside, and people are calling this a revolution.
Here’s a video that briefly explains everything and also offers dramatic footage of the occupation. The transcript is below.
I am among several hundreds of students and protesters who occupied the Taiwanese parliament building tonight. We are here to protest against the legislative ambush by the ruling nationalist party yesterday, which passed the Service trade agreement with China in a joint committee meeting.
This agreement is expected to cast huge impacts on the life of ordinary people, including considerable job losses or worsen working condition in several industries. It was also feared that the agreement would pave ways by which China could increase its dominance in Taiwanese economy and even politics.
The process of making this agreement has been criticized for the lack of transparency and participation by those affected, and caused great concern in Taiwan. In the last round of cross-party negotiation, it was agreed that the agreement should be debated and voted item by item in the parliament.
However, yesterday the nationalist party broke this promise, passing the agreement with some unimaginable legislative tactic. The violation of democratic value cause outrage of many, so here we are. I can see police deployed around the building now. We need more support to stay on. Please distribute this video to whoever is committed to the principle of democracy, transparency and participation. Help us to stop the undemocratic coalition of some political elite in both Taiwan and China.
According to GlobalVoices, on the 3rd day of demonstrations, media began calling the activity “the sunflower revolution” after a local flower shop delivered sunflowers to protesters.
The protests are also being called “March 18 Student Movement” and “Occupy Taiwan Legislature”.
Savage Minds has a very good blog post on the topic.
Here’s the New York Times story.
Relevant twitter hashtags: