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Parade to mark 40th anniversary of Kaohsiung Incident
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Photo courtesy of CNA

Taipei, Dec. 2 (CNA) A parade will be held in Kaohsiung Saturday to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the Kaohsiung Incident, organizers said Monday.

The sacrifices of those who fought for Taiwan's democracy, freedom and human rights must not be forgotten, Huang Kun-hu, director of the Taiwan Friends Association, told reporters in Taipei.

The Kaohsiung Incident was a pro-democracy demonstration that took place in the southern Taiwan city Dec. 10, 1979. At the time, Taiwan was under one-party rule of the Chinese Nationalist Party, or Kuomintang (KMT). The government had many of the protesters arrested, several of whom later went on to become leading figures in the now-ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP).

Today, it is considered an important event in Taiwan's move toward democracy.

"Let history be a lesson to all," Huang said, reminding everyone to cherish Taiwan's hard-won democratic political system and elections.

At the time of the incident, there was no freedom of speech and the protest was deemed a revolt against the government, said Linda Arrigo, a veteran Taiwan democracy campaigner, human rights advocate and environmentalist.

In fact, the protest was merely about calling for freedom, democracy and human rights in Taiwan, said Arrigo, who was once married to former DPP Chairman and democracy advocate Shih Ming-teh.

"Looking back at this bit of Taiwanese history and comparing it to what is going on right now in Hong Kong, I believe that many people here feel for the pro-democracy protesters there," she said.

Saturday's parade, jointly organized by the Defend Democracy Safeguard Taiwan Alliance, Taiwan Society and several other local civic groups, will take place on the roads surrounding the Formosa Boulevard Station of the Kaohsiung Mass Rapid Transit system.

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