Wild Strawberries Movement

Assembly and Parade Act Unconstitutional, Human Rights Intangible

Event description

In May 2008, after Ma Ying-jeou assumed the presidency, there was a significant shift in cross-strait policy. On November 3 of the same year, Chen Yun-lin, the chairman of China's Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Straits (ARATS), was invited to Taiwan for the "Chiang-Chen Meeting" with Chiang Pin-kung, the chairman of Taiwan's Straits Exchange Foundation (SEF), held at Taipei's Grand Hotel. The purpose was to prepare for the opening of the "Three Links" (comprehensive postal, trade, and transportation links) between China and Taiwan.

This move sparked dissatisfaction among many localists, leading to protests against Chen Yun-lin along his travel routes and around the Grand Hotel. The government cracked down on any actions disrupting the Chiang-Chen Meeting, such as forcibly confiscating ROC national flags and ordering the closure of a record store, among other incidents. Many young students, feeling confused and angry after seeing the news, initiated an online call for protest, culminating in a sit-in demonstration at the Executive Yuan's gate on November 6. Soon after, hundreds of students gathered in front of the Executive Yuan, dressed in black, presenting three demands: an apology from the president and premier, resignation of the National Police Agency director and National Security Bureau chief, and an amendment to the Assembly and Parade Act.

On November 7, after being forcibly removed by the police, students regrouped at Liberty Square, commencing a prolonged protest. On November 9, they issued the "Wild Strawberry Movement Declaration," naming the movement the "Wild Strawberry Movement" in resonance with the Wild Lily student movement 18 years prior. On December 7, students and activists organized the "1207 Wild at Heart" march, including a mock funeral procession and the burning of spirit money in front of the Presidential Office as a "human rights funeral" action. Although the movement took a temporary hiatus after the parade, many participants continued to engage in sit-ins on the square. The police forcibly evicted the students on December 11, but they returned to the square for further sit-ins.

Due to the prolonged nature of the protest, internal disagreements about action plans, and overall exhaustion, the Wild Strawberry Movement announced its withdrawal in January 2009. This movement marked the first student movement after 2000 that extensively utilized online live broadcasts for mobilization and promotion.


This movement did not result in tangible changes to the political system, and the Ma administration did not issue an apology. However, the movement sparked profound reflections among young students on sovereignty issues, democracy, and freedom. It indirectly influenced campus and social movements in the subsequent years, including movements against media monopoly and the Sunflower Student Movement, among others.

Participating Organizations

Reference books

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