First 228.0 Commemorative Action

Tear down Authoritarianism; Construct a New Nation

Event description

In 2017, 28 civil organizations, including the Nylon Cheng Memorial Foundation and the Taiwan Association for Human Rights, initiated the "228.0 Commemorative Action" for the 70th anniversary of the February 28th Massacre. They invited the public to hang white curtains, dress formally, and physically walk through important locations related to the February 28th Massacre, urging the government to pursue transitional justice with the spirit of "seeking the truth, remembering the wounds."

This event echoed the first-ever 228 commemoration organized in 1987 by Dr. Chen Yong-hsing, then-president of the Taiwan Association for Human Rights, lawyer Lee Sheng-hsiung, and Nylon Cheng, the founder of the magazine "Freedom Era."

The "228.0” event in 2017, initiated by the participating groups of that year, reenacted a commemorative parade reminiscent of the turbulent era of 1980s Taiwan. The goal was to emphasize that besides compensation and verbal apologies, which all political parties were willing to participate in for the February 28th Massacre transitional justice movement, the more critical work of restoring the truth, assigning responsibility, and healing wounds had not been fully accomplished.

While overseas February 28th Massacre commemorative events existed as early as the 1950s, local commemoration and rectification in Taiwan did not occur until the 1970s. Initiated by three statements issued by the Taiwan Presbyterian Church: "Declaration and Suggestions on the Nation," "Our Appeal," and "Human Rights Declaration."

In March 1986, the Taiwan Association for Human Rights' "Province and Human Rights" symposium, and the Democratic Progressive Party's action plan established in September of the same year, can be seen as sounding the horn of memory and struggle in the suppressed era. In January 1987, just after serving an eight-month sentence for violating the Election and Recall Act, Nylon Cheng convened partners at the office of "Freedom Era" for Taiwan's first public commemoration for the February 28th Massacre. The intention was to soothe the fear and pain of the victims and their families, challenging the long-imposed silence and oppression of the authoritarian system.

On February 4 of the same year, the February 28th Massacre Peace Promotion Association was officially established, attracting more than 50 organizations from here and abroad. On February 15, Lin Zong-zheng, Nylon Cheng, and Huang Chao-kai took the first step in the peaceful march in the period of martial law in Taiwan.


The form of the 228.0 event is solemn and dignified, standing out among many commemorations of the February 28th Massacre. It represents an activity that emphasizes the spirit of transitional justice.

Participating Organizations

Reference books

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