Last Saturday, March 9th, there was an anti-nuclear protest in Taichung. The protest was held simultaneously with similar protests in Taipei and Kaosiung. It started at 1 pm where protesters gathered at People’s Park. From there they started to march along Taichung’s main road, Zhonggang Rd (now is known as Taiwan Boulevard), all the way to city hall.
The protest was about Taiwan’s nuclear power plants. There are currently 4 nuclear power plants in Taiwan. 3 were built in 1960s and 1970s, while the last one was built in 1990s and is still on the process of building. Taiwan started to become an economically developed country in 1980s. At that time the nation needed a large amount of energy. The first 3 nuclear power plants were not considered to provide enough power for the nation, therefore the government decided to build the 4th nuclear power plant.
The 4th nuclear power plant took more than 20 years to build, and even until now it’s still not even half finished yet. It consumes a lot of money that are taken from taxes. These protests were to demand the government to stop continuing building the 4th power plant as well as closing down the other 3. During this protest there were several speakers speaking on the stage.
The most interesting thing was the different topics between speakers coming from different generations. Speakers from the older generation (40 years old and up) spoke about tax and welfare; about how the government had wasted the people’s money on the power plants while they could do better if the money was allocated into social welfare. Speakers from the younger generation (below 40 years old) talked about the importance of saving the environment and the future of mankind. The older generation have been paying taxes for the past 20 years in which the money went to the power plants, so of course their speeches were more pragmatics. Young generation were concerned about the future because they’ll inherit the world from their predecessors. Although they stood up for different reasons, both parties wanted the same thing; to end the use of nuclear as the source of energy while there are plenty of renewable energy sources available.
Like many other protests in Taiwan, this No Nuke Protest was peaceful and without dramas. Some protesters came with their children who played with balloons and danced to the hip hop beat as the band started to perform.
There were plenty of NGOs involved in this protest. Taichung’s LGBT Organisation was there creating quite an interesting parade. Taichung Presbyterian church was also represented by a group of reverends. United Homemakers Foundation was also there. All had yellow ribbons tied to either their foreheads or their upper arms. There were also vendours selling from coffee, T-shirts, mugs, posters, even anti-nuclear LGBT pins.
pooches and a balloon
animal centric protesters
different kinds of protesters
a tye dye vendor and a henna tattoo parlour