On the anniversary of the March, 1990 mass student protests, ‘Taiwan in Time’ takes a look at the decade of campus activism that led up to the main event
Mar 13, 2016
By: Han Cheung / Staff reporter
On May 11, 1985, student protesters marched through the National Taiwan
University (NTU) campus shouting “general elections (普選)” and “I love NTU.”
Mirroring the era’s national political situation, only class representatives could vote for student president. School officials tried to stop the students, who had been calling for direct elections since 1982, but after some fierce arguing, the students went ahead with the plan.
Taiwan was still under martial law and public gatherings were illegal. Students were handed demerits by the school and nothing would change for a few more years.
But this event marked the first open student operation after years of simmering campus unrest. It started with the clandestine circulation of flyers about free speech in 1981 and culminated in the massive Wild Lily Student Movement (野百合學運), where students occupied Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Square (today’s Liberty Square) from March 16 to March 22, 1990. [FULL STORY]