A growing group of resilient protestors are fighting against a proposed landfill on Matou Shan (馬頭山 or Horse Head Mountain) in northern Kaohsiung.
These activists claim that the site is unsuitable for a landfill due to fault lines and continuous changes in the relief of the area. They fear that this will pollute the area and possibly surface and groundwater sources, including local creeks.
There are also concerns about fauna in the area. Liu Hung-Chang (劉烘昌), and expert on land crabs, said that he hadn’t seen a specific kind of round crab (Geothelphusa ancylophallus) in over 30 years until he found them on Matou Shan. He said they can be found in many places including the various caves that dot the landscape of the mountain. Liu also states that this is solid evidence that there is plentiful ground water in the area. A number of the crabs natural predators, the mongoose, were also found on the mountain.
As with most protest movements, the cohort is largely working class. This is unsurprising as environmental issues disproportionately affect the lower class due to their reduced freedom of movement due to financial constraints. The people have been trying to get the local Environmental Protection Agency to work with them to prevent environmental destruction. It has partially worked as the EPA put a temporary stay on the landfill.
The protestors seem determined not to give up their fight. They have even restarted the protests after a pig farm was established in the area and after they accused local agencies of using erroneous data to side with the corporation. The group has even made a short documentary film capturing the beauty of the mountain and why they are fighting to keep it that way.