What you need to know
An university student group called for transitional justice regarding the 228 Incident by posting flyers all over a Chiang Kai-shek statue on campus. School officials tore down the posters and threatened to ban the students from campus.
Translated and compiled by Yuan-ling Liang
On February 26, student activist group Wildfire at NCCU (National Chengchi University) posted flyers printed with the names of 228 Incident victims on the Chiang Kai-shek’s statue on campus. School officials raged at the students and tore up the flyers.
The 228 Incident, also known as the 228 Massacre, marks the beginning of the KMT’s White Terror period in Taiwan. On February 27, 1947, a widow was accidentally shot when the Tobacco Monopoly Bureau confiscated contraband cigarettes from her. Crowds flocked to protest against the government and were violently suppressed. The KMT-led government then started to kill people that were recognized as activists.
According to recent statistics, Chiang ranked number four in world’s top nine killers in the 20th Century. During the White Terror period under his rule, the number of people killed ranges from 10,000 to 30,000 or more.
►Related News: Chiang Kai-shek Among Top Nine Killers in the 20th Century and Responsible for the 228 Incident?
Last weekend, in memory of the 228 victims, Wildfire members printed flyers with the names and stories of the victims and covered Chiang Kai-shek’s statue in the school library with them. The school police soon appeared and raged at the students, with instructors removing and tearing up the flyers and posters. The students then kept posting the flyers on the school bulletin boards, but the police followed and asked them to show their student IDs. Some even threatened the students that they would be banned from campus.
On February 27, Wildfire issued an announcement asking for an apology and transitional justice. They demanded the instructors and police to provide a legal basis for raging at them and tearing up the posters. The announcement reads, “ The Secretariat of NCCU watched a video recording of the incident. Even if the officials understand the regulations of posting flyers on campus and they realize this is a serious violation of our freedom of speech, they still failed to condemn the illegal act of the school police.”
The post on Wildfire’s Facebook page receives more than 4,000 reactions. Many people have commented below the post and call for abolishing Chiang Kai-shek’s statue. The issue whether military instructors should keep serving at school has also been widely discussed. Some people even described it as “political enforcement” in universities.
In response to the incident, NCCU officials say that the military instructor tore up the flyers because they violate the regulations, not because of censorship. Wang Wen-chieh, secretary general at NCCU, states that students are allowed to post on the bulletin boards without application, but the flyers should include the club stamps, which Wildfire failed to do.
The content of the flyers and posters have been uploaded on an album on Wildfire’s Facebook page here.
Edited by Olivia Yang
NCCU Voice of Students