Island-wide anti-nuclear protest set for March 8

The National Anti-Nuclear Action Platform announced Thursday that it will stage demonstrations island-wide on Saturday, March 8, to protest continued reliance on nuclear power on the island. The "2014 Taiwan Anti-Nuclear Parade" will be held in locations in northern, central, southern and eastern Taiwan, with the public encouraged to take to the streets on that day in support.

The date of the protests is just three days before the third anniversary of the 311 Fukushima nuclear disaster in Japan, and a broad collection of activist groups will be involved. To date the event has the support of the Green Citizens 'Action Alliance, the Homemakers' Union and Foundation, the North Coast Anti-nuclear Action Coalition, the Taiwan Environmental Protection Union, the Anti-Nuclear Union of Taitung, the Taiwan Association for Human Rights, the Taiwan Wild at Heart Ecological Association and the People's Action Coalition.

An estimated 220,000 took to the streets in last year’s anti-nuclear march, which took place on March 9. Organizers say that with 2014 scheduled to be a key year for re-stocking the fuel in Taiwan’s nuclear power plants, they hope to expand the size of the protests to show the government that the people want to see the island’s nuclear power plants phased out.

Organizers note that the Ministry of Economic Affairs disclosed earlier this year that its report on nuclear power plant security in Taiwan will be issued at the end of June, and shortly after that it will begin inserting new fuel rods in the island’s three operating nuclear plants. They add that the government continues with construction of the Fourth Nuclear Power Plant even though an estimated 60% of the population is opposed to nuclear power and nuclear waste.

Four marches are currently already planned for the March 8 demonstration, starting from Dinghao Plaza and the NTU front gate and converging on the intersection of Linsen North Road and Nanjing East Road in Taipei; and from the square opposite the Park Lane Eslite Bookstore in Taichung, Aozihdi Park in Kaohsiung and Nanjing Road City Square in Taitung.