On May 24th we carried a post about the Formosa Plastics Group (FPG) being awarded the Black Planet Award by the the German-based Foundation Ethics and Economics (Ethcon) and how a bus ad campaign run by local activists to make people aware of this had allegedly been tampered with and then pulled due to pressure from FPG. What follows is an update we received from the Wild at Heart Legal Defense Association on the fate of the bus ad campaign. It would appear to be yet another tragic example of the alarming erosion of the rights of free speech and expression that has characterised Taiwan under the Ma administration.
Taiwan versus Formosa Plastics Ad Campaign 18 May to 17 June 2010
9.8 m x 1.39 m
1. White Hanji Chinese character on red background: “SHAME”
Orange horizontal Hanji next to SHAME character: Formosa Plastics Group wins ethecon “Black Planet Award”
Orange slanted vertical Hanji to the right of the three children: “Return our clean soil, air and water”
Three white lines of horizontal Hanji running next to the right of the slanted vertical orange Hanji:
-Pollutants in Groundwater of Formosa Plastics Group Renwu Plant Exceed Legal Standards by 300,000 times;
- FPG Responsible for 1/4 of Taiwan’s Carbon dioxide emissions, a million people taking the bus won’t save us;
- As the World’s Largest PVC Producer You Are Affecting the Endocrine and Reproductive Systems of Children All Over the Globe
Last line is in brackets [Global Action Alliance for the Truth about Formosa Plastics Group], followed by a link to a blog http://www.fpgtruth.org/
2. Some of the ads went up a day early. The Hanji character for “shame” was removed by someone on the first day;
all the ads came down on the 18Th after Formosa Plastics threatened to sue the bus company and the advertising agent through whom we booked the design and placement of the ads.
3. Taiwan’s Publications Act was abolished more than a decade ago. There are however some holdover regulations (i.e., administrative provisions without any legal/statutory basis) that the city government sometimes uses to pull ads. In practice the vast majority of ads go up without any review, but technically (albeit without legal basis and likely unconstitutional) the ads should be reviewed. Thus the city government was able to escape blame, the bus company simply refused to run the ads and the advertising agent was unable to find any other bus company to apply for approval with the city.
4. We are currently attempting to run the ads in the southern Taiwan city of Kaohsiung.
Green Groups Storm Formosa Plastics Corporation at Annual Shareholders Meeting - Taiwan's Newspapers Mum
Greens storm the Formosa Plastics Annual Shareholders Meeting to present the Black Planet Award
Update: Environmental Groups Confront Formosa Plastics Corporation at Annual Shareholders Meeting
Black Planet Award for FPG.
Ethecon Black Planet Award:- Dossier on FPG
Click to view the open letter to the Formosa Plastics Group.
Formosa Plastics on fire again
Yet another FPG related fire