Expropriation of land has been widespread in Asia in recent time. In name of development and urbanization, homes and farms of local people are destroyed in never-ending land grabs by governments and developers. On July 18th this year, four homes in Dapu, Taiwan became the latest victims as they were torn down by the local government to make way for new urban development.
The case of Dapu has been the focus of a three-year long struggle by farmers and activists in Taiwan. Immediately after the demolition, protestors including students and supporters have followed President Ma, Vice-President and the Premier everywhere they appeared in public, even as they continued to ignore the protestors. In the face of growing unrest and support by other civic groups, the police and national security forces have begun to push back. Just last week, Prof. Shih-Jung Hsu was arrested and detained after he waved his hands at the President’s motorcade, suffering bruises to his arms. Students and supporters have also been expelled from protest sites.
Even though the homes in Dapu have been bulldozed, the movement against unjust land expropriation in Taiwan has just begun. Dapu is only one of many cases of local struggles against government and developers throughout the region. Support from the international community can stop the Taiwan government from further expropriation of people’s land and homes.
Please support the local communities and activists in Taiwan by signing on to this open letter to Taiwan President Ma Ying-Jeou.
See here for more information about the Dapu incident. Photos of the incident and continued protests.