October 28, 2011

OCCUPY TAIWAN!??!


Cliff Engelwood has written an interesting piece for Socialist Action that shows the depth of the Occupy Movement internationally. On the October 15th day of international protest, Taipei was an unlikely city to see hundreds of demonstrators. The country has no socialist or labor party, a weak trade union movement, and no history of political radicalism. If you travel to Taiwan and happen to have any Marxist literature it will be seized by Immigration and you will have to pay a fine. Currently the unemployment rate is half of that of the United States, has a growing economy and is increasingly seen by global capital as being a safe haven for investors.

But on October 15th, prompted by a single Facebook post, young students, workers and retirees proclaimed Occupy Taiwan and gathered at Taipei 101, the second largest building in the world. It houses the Taiwan Stock Exchange. Several hundred marchers entered the shopping mall on the first floor chanting, "No To Capitalism" and "We Are The 99%". The building security staff could not stop them. There were no arrests.

One high school student explained the protest to the Taiwan Times: "The economic growth figures may look good on paper. But we are not feeling it because all the money is going into the hands of the capitalists".

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