12/16(Sat)Low-End Labor Eviction/illegal building (Rosie)

12/16(Sat)Low-End Labor Eviction/illegal building (Rosie)

文章Rosie H » 週三 12月 13, 2017 10:05 am

Hi guys,

This is Rosie. I chose a topic regarding demolishing illegal construction. Please refer to the link below to read the news. Hope this coming cold front not stop you to come to the meeting.
Session One: Beijing Low-End Labor Eviction
Beijing: How Does a Tragic Fire Turn Into the Mass Eviction of Migrant Workers?
https://thediplomat.com/2017/11/beijing ... t-workers/
Why Parts of Beijing Look Like a Devastated War Zone
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/11/30/worl ... rants.html

Questions for discussion
1. A fire broke out in a cramped and inexpensive two-story building in the Daxing District — an area covering the southern suburbs of Beijing on 11/18. The majority of the victims were low-income migrant workers or their families. While the whole country was still mourning the tragedy and questing the cause, the government immediately launched a 40-day campaign to demolish all the illegal construction posing a potential fire hazards. Soon, the campaign swept the whole city. What do you think of the government's vicious conduct of the mass eviction within an extremely short period?

2. Chinese top authorities approved the general city plan for Beijing, demanding that the city should strictly control its scale and maintain a 23 million permanent population cap by 2020. The municipal government specified that those less-educated, low income people — or so-called “low-end labor”– are the main population the city will seek to get rid of. Do you think the “low end labor” are the victim of city sustainable development?

3. The Beijing government’s mouthpiece published an article defending the campaign, writing that the government wasn’t targeting any “low-end population” but safeguarding the city’s safety. More than 100 Chinese intellectuals signed a petition urging the top Chinese authorities to immediately stop the eviction, which they called “vicious conduct that breaks the law and the Constitution and seriously tramples on human rights.” Then, how do you think about the right of human habitation? Some people consider a safe place to live, and some people consider there is a place to live. Any conflict?

Session two: Taipei Demolish Illegal Structures
Taipei and New Taipei plan to demolish 290,000 illegal structures

Questions for discussion
4. It’s hard to find an apartment building more than 30 years old without unapproved, jerry-built on the roof. Also, many apartment owners built outward through their windows or onto shared balconies. For buildings without centralized management, homeowners seldom pool money to maintain the whole property, leaving gray or yellow water stains on exterior walls among other signs of decay. In my opinion, even I dislike the appearance of our city, especially buildings, but it is already part of Taiwanese culture and scenery for decades, and it is hard to get rid of it. Do you also feel the same?

5. Mayor Ko announces 290,000 illegal structures are to be torn down. However, many people were skeptical about the actual implementation of the plan on such a large scale. Do you support for the move as a way to increase safety? Why or why not?

6. If you are the illegal rooftop apartment owner and the government force you to move out within one month, after one month, they cut the supply of water and electricity, then pull it off, so what would you do?

3:45 ~ 4:00pm Greetings & Free Talk / Ordering Beverage or Meal / Getting Newcomer’s Information
4:00 ~ 4:10pm Opening Remarks / Newcomer’s Self-introduction / Grouping
(Session I)
4:10 ~ 4:50pm Discussion Session (40 mins)
4:50 ~ 5:10pm Summarization (20 mins)
5:10 ~ 5:15pm Regrouping / Instruction Giving / Taking a 10 Minutes Break (Intermission)
(Session II)
5:15 ~ 5:55pm Discussion Session (40 mins)
6:00 ~ 6:20pm Summarization (20 mins)
6:20 ~ 6:30pm Concluding Remarks / Announcements
聚會時間:請準時 4:00 pm 到 ~ 約 6:30 pm 左右結束
地址、電話:台北市濟南路三段25號 地圖 (02) 2740-2350
捷運站:板南線 忠孝新生站 3 號出口
走法:出忠孝新生站 3 號出口後,沿著巷子(忠孝東路三段10巷)走約 2 分鐘,到了濟南路口,左轉走約 2 分鐘即可看到。
最低消費: 80 元

1. 文章是否需要列印請自行斟酌,但與會者請務必自行列印 Questions for discussion。
2. 與會者請先閱讀過文章,並仔細想過所有的問題,謝謝合作!

1. 請事先準備2~3分鐘的英語自我介紹;會議結束前可能會請你發表1~2分鐘的感想。
2. 請事先閱讀文章以及主持人所提的討論問題,並事先寫下自己所欲發表意見的英文。
3. 全程以英語進行,參加者應具備中等英語會話能力,對任一討論問題,能夠以5到10句英文表達個人見解。
4. 在正式加入之前,可以先來觀摩三次,觀摩者亦須參與討論。正式加入需繳交終身會費 NT$1,000。
Rosie H
YOYO member
文章: 7
註冊時間: 週五 2月 06, 2015 11:02 am

Re: 12/16(Sat)Low-End Labor Eviction/illegal building (Rosie

文章Dan » 週五 12月 15, 2017 7:48 pm

Very interesting topics, Rosie. Thank you for holding this session.

My feeling is, we must not lump together the respective responses of China and Taiwan to the problem of illegal structures.

China is a dictatorship, which, as the articles you linked point out, was merely looking for a pretext to tear down the illegal structures in Beijing in order to get rid of poor migrant laborers--which officials did, as the articles state, with China's characteristic ruthlessness.

Taiwan, on the other hand, is a free country and democracy, and perhaps because of that, officials have taken a soft and patient approach to illegal structures. But Taiwan has been too lenient. These are unsafe structures--not to mention being eyesores. There are ways to demolish these structures in a humane way (to any occupants of the structures) while following the rule of law.

For example, city officials could inspect the structures and give the owners a reasonable amount of time to remove them. If the owners fail to do so, the city could take the owners to court and assess daily penalties according to the law. This is for the public good. In addition, officials could pass a law requiring that when a property is sold or is passed down to heirs, the illegal structures must be removed--if they haven't already been removed following inspections.

I'm not sure I'd agree with you that Taiwan's Blade Runner-esque streetscape is part of the cultural landscape. I have joked that Taiwan's architects and building owners (of older buildings) must have been going for the "sheet-metal chic" look. :lol: I've even heard Taiwanese people joke that the only way to get rid of all of Taipei's dilapidated buildings is to have a massive earthquake and start over again. I'm not sure anyone really means that...at least I don't think they do. :shock:
文章: 24
註冊時間: 週四 9月 22, 2016 8:08 pm

Re: 12/16(Sat)Low-End Labor Eviction/illegal building (Rosie

文章Rock » 週五 12月 15, 2017 9:37 pm

I wonder if Singapore has the same problem.
In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principle, stand like a rock.
YOYO member
文章: 1879
註冊時間: 週三 10月 31, 2007 9:03 am

Re: 12/16(Sat)Low-End Labor Eviction/illegal building (Rosie

文章Iris Wu » 週六 12月 16, 2017 8:16 am

We can tell that Dan really cares about Taiwan. Nice job, Rosie, for luring Dan back to YoYo discussion! :)

Authoritarian and totalitarian regimes need to be more humane and democratic governments need to be more effective, which is such a cliché, but in reality it seems hard to reach the balance point.
Over the decades, some “Post-It cities” (or nomad camps) have formed in Taipei and New Taipei City, such as groups of illegal housing structures along the riverside parks. The worst, for me, is a bunch of sheet metal roof/structures sitting in scenic areas, such as MaoKong, which looks so out of tune.

Ideally, government's social service units should have the data of the disadvantaged well in hand, then, public/affordable housing should be built and arranged for the needed before law and order are forcefully implemented.
Iris Wu
YOYO member
文章: 610
註冊時間: 週二 5月 20, 2014 4:33 pm

Re: 12/16(Sat)Low-End Labor Eviction/illegal building (Rosie

文章Kooper » 週六 12月 16, 2017 2:22 pm

As a common saying goes, when it comes to enforcing law, rules, reasons, and sentiment are three crucial elements to be considered. More specifically, rules and reasons should take a back seat to sentiment in an attempt to stay humane and empathetic during the whole process.

It’s only fair to demolish illegal buildings in the name of urban safety. What sparks outrage in the Beijing case is the way how the administration execute it. Tenants of the illegal and makeshift buildings are by and large low-income economic migrants, which happen to be the most vulnerable group of dwellers in the metropolis. They live there because they cannot afford anything better and safer. Therefore, more social services and resources should be prepared in advance to help the needy get it over and find new places to stay.
YOYO member
文章: 2467
註冊時間: 週三 4月 11, 2007 11:40 pm

Re: 12/16(Sat)Low-End Labor Eviction/illegal building (Rosie

文章Kooper » 週六 12月 16, 2017 2:43 pm

I feel that we need these news topic from time to time. They are relatively dry but breaking out of the comfort zones help us step up our games for sure. :D
YOYO member
文章: 2467
註冊時間: 週三 4月 11, 2007 11:40 pm

Re: 12/16(Sat)Low-End Labor Eviction/illegal building (Rosie

文章Kooper » 週日 12月 24, 2017 10:38 pm

Attendees(17): Kooper, Tashi, Iris, Dan, Luis, Sunny Sr., Rita, Catherine, Anne, Way, David Jr., Momo, Neo, Sabrina, Steve, Gloria, Georgia
YOYO member
文章: 2467
註冊時間: 週三 4月 11, 2007 11:40 pm

回到 每週討論主題 Meeting Topics


正在瀏覽這個版面的使用者:沒有註冊會員 和 1 位訪客