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Generations of Change :: Ben Lee
Period of Involvement: I was involved in the formation of CPA and active in the ‘70s.
Share a proud moment or work that you did with CPA: Naturally there are many moments in the history of CPA that stand out. Who remembers the May 20 incident back in 1978? On that day there were nationwide actions to protest the inauguration of Chiang Ching-kuo as successor to his father Chiang Kai-shek as facist ruler of Taiwan. In San Francisco, the KMT sent thugs armed with metal-tipped sticks and spears to brutally assault the march organized by CPA and other patriotic forces in the community. Although 15 security monitors were injured, the demonstration held firm and the march continued on its route. Our monitors beat back the desperate attacks and paid them back in kind. On the following Saturday, May 27, we organized a second demonstration of over 350 people to express outrage over the desperate attack of the KMT and support the reunification of Taiwan and the PRC. As the march approached the KMT headquarters, the marchers chanted “Smash the Chiang Regime!” “Reactionary KMT out of Chinatown” “One China, People’s China” and “ The people united will never be defeated”.
What are you doing now – in your work and in your life? I’m now retired
Why are you supporting CPA now? Several years ago, Pam and I were going to a birthday event for Richard Aoki in the East Bay. We decided to drop by CPA first because there was gathering of folks from across the country doing work in the Chinese communities. As the large group gathered to do introductions, I found myself standing next to my old comrades, Michael and Lydia from Boston. Later at the same meeting I was approached by a young person from Southern California. They were in the process of forming a community group and wanted to know if they could call themselves CPA. I said, “Sure! But do you know what you are getting yourself into?” Ha! Ha! I felt so proud that the seeds that we planted back in our youth have grown in to a forest spanning from the west coast to the east. The unity of our movement has never been stronger.