The following statement was originally released by Le Flanc Radical on April 2nd, 2014. The original Chinese language text can be seen here.
With regard to this Sunflower Movement that began on March 18th, on March 30th, 500,000 citizens stood on Ketagalan Boulevard to express their anger, expressing the high point of the movement. This is the culmination of the political movement and is an event which has attracted the attention of the international world. For the sake of protecting our future and rour ights, we have resisted the government that has imperiously blocked these rights, and the barbarous path of the black box, opposing the national representatives who have also abandoned their people for executive power, exposing the brutal nature of the government. This is something all have stood up and participated in, as well as achievements jointly created.
However, in the course of 330, regrettable events took place. The publication distributed by “Beyond Blue and Green” (超克藍綠) and Le Flanc Radical, “J’Accuse” (我控訴), was snatched away by individuals claiming to be acting under orders from Huang Kuo-Chang (黃國昌), and was not distributed to the people. These individuals even claim to have recycled and destroyed the publication. Confronted with this news, Huang admitted, “Because of conflicted direction, publications belonging to Le Flanc Radical were mistakenly destroyed by those managing order in the occupation,” and because of that the troubles and confusion caused by this event, Huang has already apologized to Le Flanc Radical.
Le Flanc Radical demonstration in Fall 2014. Photo credit: Le Flanc Radical/Facebook
In response to Huang’s apology, we can accept this in principle. But we also need to make clear certain related set of circumstances. There are still confusing and not explained aspects of the destruction of our publication materials on 330. For a citizen’s political movement, this should be a place where political ideals are put into practice. Consequently, freedom of speech should be respected and protected and it should not be for restriction on freedoms of speech to take place without explanation. Otherwise this constitutes restriction and censorship. is it not that this movement is aimed at overturning this kind of behavior from the government? This kind of behavior is what is unceasingly denounced when coming from the government, and is the primary reason for the demonstration. To totally restrict free speech and only allow for one line, this is the beginning of autocracy and tyranny. The primary aim of a social movement should be to overcome this sort of behavior, as though one is jealous and needs to trample on free discussion. This is an unspeakable harm and mockery of the movement.
The cause of this incident must be investigated. “Who” passed along this wrong message? Could what led up to “one fault” lead to another fault”? We reiterate that Huang’s apology is because of the trust shared between partners, and so what is important is to carefully investigate whether this was an accident or a deliberate act of harm, the causes of the incident, and to call for confessions from those responsible. Namely, these unclear incidents will lead to mistrust within the movement and destroy the trust between civil and political organization in the movement, leading to a doubtful and fearful environment. We must clarify the actual facts to dispel the “ghosts” and to prevent similar events from occurring again in the future, and to prevent disruptions within the movement which lead to difficulties in cooperation.
From the start of the occupation movement, up to the occupation of Ketagalan Boulevard, through the spread of news of unclear origin, “Le Flanc Radical” has also been labelled as a group of “chief plotters” who run away from occupation when in trouble. We have to state that this “honor” does not belong to us. In this movement, from students to Taiwanese citizens have gathered en masse to protect democracy; this is a movement of values and ideals. Any participating organization and individual are important participants in this movement. Everyone is responsible for different work or different positions or different tasks in the movement, but cannot be lacking elements in the movement, and there are many important tasks. Everyone is important and is participating in an act of civil society being put into practice. As a result, this fortune of receiving attention, to be placed on Le Flanc Radical of all elements participating in the movement, one should not claim credit for one’s self that is due to others, and monopolize this honorable reputation. This honor belongs to all those organizations and individuals who participate in the movement.
Le Flanc Radical demonstration in January 2015. Photo credit: Le Flanc Radical/Facebook
All of involved in the movement, have been successful in spreading word of this movement to the whole world! If individuals continue to allege that Le Flanc Radical is group of schemers, who wish to divide the students, to create evil plots, on account of this they have given up their own legitimacy and honor. As Le Flanc Radical, we are willing to accept this label as “schemers” and this honor divided among the people who have participated in the Sunflower Movement. We confront a hypocritical, cunning, and irresponsible who want to hog the glory for themselves, willing to use violence to oppress the people, to divide the people, and the automatic government willing to use media to slander the people, to get up and confront the undoubtedly most fortunate people. And the people most worthy of being respected in front of the people. Consequently, demonstrating an injustice, the “chief plotters” such as ourselves who slap the table and stand up are willing to get up and stand up for every individual, to humble divide the honor between every individual who participated in the Sunflower Movement.
We emphasize once more, the “Sunflower Movement” is a continuous and dynamic movement, with different awakened citizens joining at different times, all participating. We cannot call on everyone to “after there is a wound, to simply bandage it over”. To try and divide allies, to conspire in this way is an old trick of politics, which participant organizations in the movement have rejected so far. This is our shared resistance in protecting Taiwanese democracy, and why individuals have participated in the movement to date. As a result, all of those who participate in the movement within the Legislative Yuan or outside of it are our partners, and are political allies willing to sacrifice for each other who should not be divided.
Of those who attempted to occupy the Executive Yuan and those who participated in the Legislative Yuan occupation, identifying with the same form of political values is also a form of action, a way to strike fear into the heart of a government which has lost legitimacy! Because of our partners, we cannot let the people feel lonely, especially those who bravely attempted to occupy the Executive Yuan! We will not let our attention be diverted by the bloody and violent actions of the Ma administration. Lastly, we must say, in the Sunflower Movement, from the beginning of occupying the Legislative Yuan until its end, all participants are its chief plotters. We will not abandon our partners, we will struggle together, we will oppose the struggle to divide us. These are our responsibilities to our partners, and the fundamental morality of protesters.