The Endgame Of The Movement

The Endgame Of The Movement

The way the Sunflower Movement ended had a large effect on the how the movement was perceived afterwards

A decision that the leadership within the Legislative Yuan saw much criticism for within the movement was the decision to withdraw of their own accord from the Legislative Yuan, using 330 as a high point of the movement in order to cap it off. This was the view that if the movement had a messier end, such as through a police withdrawal, that the public would remember the movement so kindly. Furthermore, the leadership within the Legislative Yuan were firmly attentive to the fact that public support for the movement was starting to decline.

In this way, although many were unhappy with the decision to withdraw, feeling that more could be done or that the movement could perhaps achieve further results, the Sunflower Movement perhaps avoided the messiness faced by movements such as the Umbrella Movement, in which the movement had started to wear on public patience by the end of the movement. Later on, events such as Lin Yi-Hsiung’s hunger strike against nuclear power were understood as attempts to channel the energy of the movement in a new direction, towards opposition against nuclear energy.

Either way, it is very clear that the way the movement ended had a very large role in shaping how the movement is remembered. The movement is oftentimes remembered as, in some way, a pro-Taiwanese independence movement. However, it was not in fact until the tail end of the movement that the leadership in the Legislative Yuan began to openly state that they supported Taiwanese independence, this beginning on the commemoration of Cheng Nan-Jung’s self-immolation as well as through Indie DaDee’s Big Bowel Blossom Forums. Before that point, the leadership had claimed largely to only oppose the “Black Box CSSTA.”


Photo credit: Abby Chen/Flickr/CC