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Taiwan: bloggers act on saving Lo-Sheng Sanatorium

Losheng Sanatorium is a hospital for lepers which is located in the suburbs of Taipei. Since 1930s, this hospital is the only public sanatorium for Hansen's disease (leprosy) patients in Taiwan. In 2001, due to the construction of Taipei mass rapid transportation, the authorities planned to transform Losheng to a community hospital, thus put an end to its dedicated hospitalization and care for the leprosy ex-patients. Many students, urban planners and NGO tried to save this sanatorium from that time. After five years, they finally got a chance to make the government reconsidering a new version which reserves 90% of the sanatorium, instead of the original plan, 41%.

However, just two days ago, the Department of Rapid Transit System (Taipei) asked all the leprosy ex-patients remained in the sanatorium to move out before March 13th, or the enforcement will make that happened by the strong arm. In this morning (March 8th), 200 policemen dispersed 50 people who were gathering in front of the residence owned by Executive Yuan Premier, Mr. Su Tseng-Chang. Yao, a blogger who was there on that time, called it as a dark day:


我看到警方拖著一個阿伯的身體,但阿伯無力抵抗,他的義肢因為被拉扯,掉落在地上,而旁邊的學生不捨的哭喊著:警方不要用暴力!然而卻換得了甚麼?一次一次無情的進攻。

I saw a policeman draging and pulling an old man who is too old to resist, and then, his artificial limb was fallen down. A student cried for asking the policemen not using the violence, but what they got? The cold-blooded attack, again and again.

After talking with his friend who was also there on that time, DarkBringer described the brutal force on these old,

Brutal Force。毫不掩飾的暴力。這是為了即將到來的強制拆遷作預習嗎?還是今天多打倒一個老人,來日就少搬一個老人?

“Brutal Force, just Brutal Force. Is it a preparation for the demolition in the coming day? Or they just want to strike an old man down so that they can move one less?”

Although the protest is to ask the government to keep his word that convenes a conference to discuss the new plan in public, news media prefer putting their focus on the conflict itself rather than the statement of the protesters. PipperL wrote down his observations:

看看那些電子媒體的報導,大多集中在「衝突」的場面。是的,就是衝突,有拉扯的鏡頭,有尖叫哭喊的鏡頭,有推擠晃動的鏡頭,這才是那些SNG車和記者們想要的鏡頭。緊張緊張緊張! 刺激刺激刺激! 這樣才有收視率,這樣才能讓拿著搖控器一直轉台的觀眾停在這一台。而當衝突的鏡頭播完了之後,今天去抗議的原因呢? 這個事件來龍去脈的追蹤呢? 各方團體的立場和角力呢? 未來事態可能發展的走向呢? 管他的,進下一則政治人物參選登記的新聞吧。

Look at the TV, they only care about conflicts rather than the protest itself. Yeah, conflicts. Screaming, shouting, people were pushed and shaken. They are the takes those SNG and reporters want. The tension and excitement attract eyeballs of the audiences, and makes them hold their remote control and stay on the channel. But after the end of the video, why were these people gathering? What is the whole context of the protest? What direction may the event go? No body cares, they just move into the next headline — which politician registers as a candidate for presidential campaign 2008.

In the mean time, Ancorena revealed in his blog, that he decided to give his vote for anyone who can help Losheng:

「如果有任何政治人物,尤其是總統大選候選人,能為樂生全區保存採取行動,並且產生實際效用的,在選舉時只要涵蓋到我的選區,就會獲得我的支持。」

If there is any politician, especially the candidate who runs for president 2008, can help us to successfully reserve the whole sanatorium, then during the election campaign, I will support him or her in my electoral district.

Ancorena also made some stickers and suggestions for the people who want to join this protest.

In Taiwan blogosphere, many bloggers are now collaborating their articles, photos, videos and even podcasts together, seeking for support from the society. To step out from the actions in blogoshpere, these bloggers decide to extend the movement to the real world. If the news media report their move, more people may know what's going on. Like the words wenli speak out loudly:

「是該採取攻勢的時候了。」

It's time to be offensive!!

Written by Swpave, edited by PipperL and abstract. All are GV Chinese Project Team members

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