By Nora Chang
Taipei, Aug. 30 – Recently Taipei mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) is frequently harassed by members of Taiwan Nation, an organization that demands Taiwan Independence, asking him his political stance on recent affairs such as name rectification for 2020 Tokyo Olympic and national flag prohibition during Taipei 2017 Universiade (世大運).
Ko was exceedingly upset and decided to quit bus and start taking official vehicle to work until the protest is less active.
“If the mayor of Taipei does not feel safe on the street, what about the citizens? Now the Police Department won’t let me take the bus. In the past they would escort me before I got on, now they just can’t do it anymore.” Ko said.
The originator of Taiwan Nation kept questioning Ko on the bus if he is more pro-China for the speech he once made, “People on both sides of the Taiwan Straits are all of one family(兩岸一家親),” and even asked him to sign on the flag of Taiwan to prove his patriotism.
At first the mayor was being nice and answered some of his questions. Eventually, Ko couldn’t stand it anymore and refuse to respond. Ko’s escort also expressed that the originator already violated the Social Order Maintenance Act (社會秩序維護法).
“Everyone has the right to freedom of expression and should allow others to do the same. It is based on the premise that no one’s freedom is impeded and restricted and we can’t force others into expressing their political opinions. This should be common sense in Taiwan.” Ko said during the interview conducted after the event.