Say NO to China
Say Yes to Taiwan Independence
6-28 Rally in Chicago
A Report by Jessica HungJessica is a Taiwanese-American teenager living in Illinois.
Saturday, 28 June 1997, was a scorching hot day on the corner of Erie and Clark St. in Chicago, IL. It was almost eleven o'clock, and the drivers at the intersection slowed their cars at the red light, rolled down their windows, and wiped the perspiration off their foreheads. They had each drifted into their own thoughts when they heard a faint hum of words in the distance. They poked their heads out of the windows and looked around curiously, as the voices grew louder and louder. What was this noise about, and where was it coming from ?
Then the drivers saw it: with raised eyebrows, they watched as a band of Taiwanese-Americans rounded the corner. And they kept coming. Just over one hundred people, some baby boomer immigrants from Taiwan, some second-generation youngsters, marched proudly down the street with signs and banners on their backs, around their necks, and up in the air. The drivers read the various signs, some beautifully sewn and others neatly written on pieces of cardboard. They listened to the shouting and looked at the signs, "Taiwan Independence", Taiwan for the Taiwanese", "China, hands off Taiwan", "Shame on China", "Taiwan is a nation" and "I love Taiwan" among others.
They read the papers distributed to them while they waited for the green light. And before they sped off at the signal for just another day in their free and democratic lives, they smiled, waved and honked their horns in support of the courageous group of Taiwanese fighting for their independence. The miniature-sized bunch looked up and cheered their thanks, but they kept parading on, for they had a bigger objective today.
There was much excitement as the crowd pushed on towards the large building which housed the Chinese Consulate-general. The fifty-some men, women and scattered youthful teens, and even the two babies in strollers which bore "One Taiwan, One China" signs all stared up at the brown brick building and its red and yellow Chinese flag.
They had come to this spot to tell the Chinese that they refuse to be part of China, that they are not Hong Kong, and now the moment had arrived. The loudspeaker was handed to a tall man in front, and then the chorusing began, with the Taiwanese shouting louder with every word, getting more and more enthusiastic. Devotion and love for their homeland ran through their blood and poured out as they demanded peace.
As the rally ended, and the shouts, honking horns and waves flew by, the Taiwanese-Americans knew that they had accomplished something today that was a small step for the Taiwanese, yet a giant leap for mankind all over the world.
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Last updated on 30 June 1997.