Over 200 people march in Taipei ahead of 228 incident
By The Space
More than 200 people marched in Taipei ahead of the 74th anniversary of the 228 incident, wherein about 20,000 people were massacred in Taiwan in a crackdown that began on February 28, 1947. The rally held on February 21 was the fifth in a series of annual demonstrations first organized in 2017 by the Tsai Jui-yueh Dance Research Institute and the Nylon Cheng Liberty Foundation and Memorial Museum, according to a report by Taiwan Times.
The groups that participated in the rally included Taiwan Association for Human Rights, Covenants Watch and the 228 Memorial Foundation. The demonstrators, most of whom were dressed in black, began their march from Rixin Elementary School in Datong District and walked past the Tianma Tea House, the Taipei branch of the Tobacco Monopoly Bureau and the former site of the Taiwan Broadcasting Station, before stopping at the Executive Yuan.
This year's event was led by the Provisional Office of the Formosa Youth Council and the National Taiwan University Written Taiwanese Society themed on 'Burying Authoritarianism' and 'Making Formosa'. During the march, the names of the people who were massacred during the 228 incident were read aloud.
The purpose of "remembering the past is to move towards a better future," Taiwan Times quoted Nylon Cheng Liberty Foundation and Memorial Museum director Cheng Chu-mei as saying before the march began. She further said, "We should continue to speak while we still can".
On February 28, 1947, the then-Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) regime had launched a crackdown on the anti-government protesters, during which the security personnel at the Governor-General's Office in Taipei (now the site of the Executive Yuan building) opened fire on the civilians. The protesters were demanding the arrest of the people responsible for the killing of a bystander the previous day. According to Taiwan Times, the bystander was part of a crowd that had gathered outside Taipei's Tianma Tea House on Nanjing W Road to challenge Tobacco Monopoly Bureau officials after one of them struck Lin Chiang-mai, a woman selling cigarettes illegally.
Following the crackdown, martial law was imposed that began on May 19, 1949, and lasted till July 15, 1987. During this period, the political dissidents were suppressed and several were killed.