Thousands link hands from church to Presidential Office
Taiwan News, Staff Writer
2014-04-24 08:29 PM
TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – Thousands of people linked hands and flashed their cell phones at 20:14 Thursday in a human chain running from the church where former Democratic Progressive Party Chairman Lin Yi-hsiung was fasting against the fourth nuclear plant all the way to the Presidential Office Building.

The DPP, which organized the event, said it was meant to tell President Ma Ying-jeou that the majority of the people in Taiwan stood with Lin and wanted the nuclear project scrapped in 2014.

The line of people went from the Gikong Presbyterian Church along Xinyi Road, one of the capital’s main arteries, to end up 2.4 kilometers further on Ketagalan Boulevard in front of the Presidential Office Building.

On the wide road, protesters set up candles to form a Chinese character meaning “life” to express their hope that Lin would make it through alive. Participants first shouted a call to stop work on the fourth nuclear power plant and when the time arrived, held up cell phones to shine the light around.

DPP Chairman Su Tseng-chang arrived at the church half an hour before the event started in order to visit his predecessor.

Earlier in the day, yellow ribbons symbolizing opposition to nuclear energy were already prevalent all the way along the route.

The human chain was only one of several mass events planned to coincide with Lin’s hunger strike, which started on April 22.

Representatives from Taiwan’s artistic and cultural world sat down in protest on Taipei’s Liberty Square Thursday evening with the intent of passing the night there and handing the action over to environmentalists Friday. They organized petitions calling for a halt to the fourth nuclear project, the quick phasing out of the three existing power plants and a fairer referendum law. An estimated 1,000 people were reported at the site Thursday evening.

On Saturday, a morning run will be held beginning and finishing on Ketagalan Boulevard, the wide avenue in front of the Presidential Office Building. After the run is over, at 9 a.m., about 3,000 people will form the words “No Nuke Now” on the road. Anti-nuclear activists plan to occupy the area for most of the rest of the day, as Ma failed to respond to Lin’s basic demands. The president visited Lin’s church and handed him a card Wednesday, while a meeting with DPP Chairman Su Tseng-chang was being prepared, reports said.

A second event planned for Ketagalan Boulevard would start Sunday at 2 p.m. and could continue indefinitely until the Ma Administration gave a positive reaction to Lin’s demands, activists said.

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