Red Brick Daily
On September 1, 2016, the Kaohsiung City Government deployed police to a farmers’ market in Sanmin District (三民) and tore it down … despite months of protests and a sit-in by local residents.
Many were unhappy with the way KHH City handled the demolition.
Before the scheduled action, citizens and civic groups had urged the Kaohsiung City Government to “respect human rights” in its decision-making processes.
A Facebook petition afterward called the demolition a “reverberation of an authoritarian government where high-ranking officials call the shots on all development plans.”
The petition was widely spread on Taiwanese social media … and incumbent Environmental Protection Administration Deputy Minister Thomas Chan (詹順貴) signed it.
“After reading a lot of information and comparing the penetrating questions raised by a local self-help group and the Kaohsiung City Government’s ambiguous replies, I decided to break a political taboo by signing the petition with my real name and my title as EPA deputy minister, even though that was not required,” Chan wrote.
(Facebook / 詹順貴 – Environmental Protection Administration Deputy Minister Thomas Chan)
Chan is a veteran social and environmental campaigner, but also EPA deputy minister — in a DPP government. Signing the petition has some in the DPP (Democratic Progressive Party) calling Chan a “backstabber.”
(Photo via EventsInFocus.org)
DPP Taipei City Councilor Liang Wen-chieh (梁文傑) was highly displeased with Chan:
“[Chan] wants to serve as an official and show people that he is a conscientious social activist. He works for the DPP administration … and yet he has stabbed his allies in the back. It is commendable to hold on to your ideals on social activism, but you cannot have the best of both worlds. Are you not tired of being two-faced?” Liang said.
Councilor Liang also praised KHH City Mayor Chen Chu — who is also a member of the ruling DPP — for having the “courage,” he said, to tackle the issue of the farmers’ market, which “caused problems in the area for 40 years,” Liang added.
Mayor Chen said the market was located in a flood-prone area and that it caused traffic congestion on Shih-Chuan Road
She said that although 21 of the 120 households living closest to the market opposed her … she made a “tough decision” for the greater good.
The KHH City government will offer subsidies and help affected residents relocate, the mayor added.
The city plans to rebuild the farmer’s market in a location with flood-prevention facilities. No timetable for completion of the new facility was given.
Chinese story here: http://udn.com/news/story/6656/1965168