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Ho De-Fen's Soft Strategy Makes Shih See Deep Red
Paul Lin

It is inevitable that a mass movement will get pulled in different directions. When former Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) chairman Shih Ming-teh
launched the "Million Voices Against Corruption" campaign to depose President Chen Shui-bian, there was a group of people behind the scenes handling strategy. Ho De-fen, a professor emeritus at National Taiwan University, surfaced as the spokeswoman and the campaign's most public face, with more media exposure than Shih himself.

Ho took a soft approach, which didn't sit well with Shih's hawkish "live or die" rhetoric. Her approach had two themes.

The first was keeping a distance from violence and gangsters. After former DPP legislator Lin Cheng-chieh (LN) assaulted Contemporary Monthly editor-in-chief Chin Heng-wei on the talk show The People Talk on Aug. 24, Ho barred Lin and his team, which consisted of bodyguards organized to protect Shih during the sit-in.

The second was avoiding affiliation with any political party. This would create
a campaign for "everyone." This approach was similar to that of Chinese
Nationalist Party (KMT) Chairman and Taipei Mayor Ma Ying-jeou, and was aimed at attracting wider support from the pan-green camp's grassroots.
Not long after this, however, Ho lost her post as spokeswoman. Her replacement, Jerry Fan, gave Lin and his team a hero's welcome. It was then that the"red army" was properly organized.

The protesters may have been "red," but they had no reason to reject "blue," and so the pan-blue camp joined the campaign.

Ho later said that it was impossible to get rid of People First Party (PFP) Chairman James Soong, and that his presence embarrassed Ma, who had showed up at the sit-in on behalf of the KMT and provided breakfast for the protesters.

After Ho's approach was rejected, the "red terror" began. Red represents rage,
revolution, anti-Chen sentiment (in this case) and, in the minds of some, the
Chinese Communist Party. This could not be openly stated, however, lest a
sizeable number of protesters object to this and abandon the campaign

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