Citizen 1985 was one of the main coordinating groups for demonstrations against government accountability in the death of military cadet Hung Chung-Hsiu. In some sense, Citizen 1985 developed out of reactions against Hung’s death under military circumstances on PTT and other places on the Internet and eventually developed into a social media-savvy group capable of coordinating protests involving tens of thousands of people. Citizen 1985’s name, a pun on 1984, suggesting that instead of the “Big Brother” of government watching the people, the “Big Citizen” of the demonstrating members of society were watching over the government, as in the slogan “Big Citizen is Watching You”. Citizen 1985’s signature colors were white. As such, they also came to play a role in the Sunflower Movement, particularly as responsible for maintaining the internal order of the occupation encampment surrounding the Legislative Yuan and directing traffic.
Citizen 1985 demonstrators on July 20th, 2013. Photo credit: Citizen 1985/Facebook
However, Citizen 1985 became criticized in the course of the Sunflower Movement for being overly fussy and bureaucratic. In part, this may have been a necessary consequence of the fact that Citizen 1985 was in charge of managing the internal order of the occupation encampment surrounding the Legislative Yuan. But Citizen 1985 had been seen as bureaucratic in how they managed previous protests prior to the Sunflower Movement, as well as acquired an elitist reputation for referring to themselves as “elite” protesters distinguished from the common masses during the Hung Chung-Hsiu protests.
Citizen 1985 prominently came into conflict with the Untouchables’ Liberation Area over the lane they kept free for medical emergencies, with members of the Untouchables’ Liberation Area, which included doctors among its members, believing that this was unnecessary and overly restrictive of free movement in the occupation encampment. At a certain point, the criticism was raised that the movement was a whole was ossifying in the terms that the movement was undergoing “1985-ization” (1985化).
Read More About Citizen 1985 In The Sunflower Movement:
Traffic direction in the occupation encampment surrounding the Legislative Yuan
Read interviews with Citizen 1985 members