The statue of Chiang Kai-shek at CKS Memorial Hall in Taipei City was splashed with red paint today, as Taiwan Independence activists protested wasting Taiwan’s resources on maintaining Chinese authoritarian relics.
At around 9:30am, youth activists from the group From Ethnos to Nation (FETN) entered the memorial hall and threw paint bombs at the huge statue of former President of the Republic of China, Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek. The activists then unfurled banners in Taiwanese and English that read, “Eliminate Chinese tyranny: Build Taiwan’s own republic.”
Buckets of red paint were also spilled around the steps at the entrance to the hall.
CKS Memorial Hall administrators immediately cleared the area of tourists and closed down the facility for cleaning.
The activists said that the red paint represented the blood of the victims of the regime that kept Taiwan under martial law for 38 years from 1949 to 1987. They called the CKS Memorial Hall “a ridiculous sanctuary still at the heart of power of the Republic of China.”
Using Facebook, the group called for Taiwan to stop wasting resources on maintaining authoritarian cultural relics, to abolish the two Chiang Kai-shek memorial parks, and to stop using the authoritarian relics as tourism resources.
FETN chose to take action today as other activists who splashed paint over Chiang Kai-shek’s sarcophagus at the Cihu Mausoleum in Taoyuan City February 28 were due to face court this afternoon.
FETN considers the arrest and prosecution of the youth activists illegal. “The Taiwanese are not guilty of rebelling against the colonists,” read the fourth point of a statement released by the group. Point 4 also called for an end to the rule of the Republic of China, and the establishment of a new country.
Two men Lee Chia-yu, and Chen Yu-zhen, were taken in for questioning after the incident on suspicion of breaching the Social Order Maintenance Act. Lee made a statement to police that said that the statue should not exist and should be dismantled. He said he planned today’s paint splashing action to express his dissatisfaction. The men left the police station at around 3:00pm this afternoon after being fined NT$2,000 each.
When Lee left the police station, he said in Taiwanese: “the Republic of China has already died!”
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