On Saturday, more than
30,000 100,000 people marched in Taipei, as citizens remain furious over the suspicious circumstances surrounding the death of 24-year-old conscript Hung Chung-chiu on July 4.
And then they gathered on a square and sang Les Miserables.
As the Wall Street Journal reports:
Mr. Hung died after being ordered to perform excessive physical activity as punishment for what his family said was an attempt by his superiors to prevent the corporal from going public on allegedly questionable behavior in his unit. Another massive demonstration is set for next weekend.
Mr. Hung died 72 hours before his scheduled discharge. He had planned to resume his graduate study at National Chengkung University upon completion of his military obligation, his family said.
Suspicion surrounding Hung’s treatment before his death stirred up anger against the government, but it was the MND’s subsequent inability to provide answers, such as disclosing missing footage of a surveillance camera where Mr. Hung was ordered to perform strenuous exercise before losing consciousness, that really infuriated the public.
(Update, 5:55 pm: Via AFP: “Organisers claimed 200,000 people joined the protest, while the government’s estimate of the crowd size was 100,000.” On July 20, in a separate protest for Hung Chung-chiu, “about 30,000 people demonstrated outside the defence ministry in the capital… according to Citizen 1985, an activist group that organised the protest.” )
As the protest went on into the night, thousands of people broke into song. Above (via Youku), the people sing a Chinese version of “Do You Hear the People Sing?” from Les Mis.
CCTV has another version of the video posted on its official YouTube page.
We’ve said this before, but eventually someone will write Les Mis: Beijing, and it’s going to be heartbreaking and mesmerizing and great. We don’t mean a Peking Opera version, either.
POSTSCRIPT: You can watch the entirety of the 25th anniversary Les Miserables performance from the London O2 Arena on Youku. It’s amazing, up to Alfie Boe’s rendition of Bring Him Home (105:55 mark, below) and through it, until the every end. You should do this sometime: