Written by Sandra Upson for the Scientific American

In the biggest student-led protest in Taiwan’s history, an estimated 10,000 peoplehave surrounded government buildings in Taipei in opposition to an impending trade deal with mainland China. The movement began spontaneously, when hundreds of protestors seized control of Taiwan’s main legislative building last Tuesday night. On Sunday evening the clashes escalated, with several dozen people injured in skirmishes between police and activists who had stormed the Executive Yuan, which houses the Cabinet.

Yet when I visited the protests on Saturday, I was struck by the extraordinary civility and peacefulness on display. The students, professors and other supporters sat in neat rows in the streets flanking the occupied legislative building. Many attendees carried sunflowers, a salute to the event’s nickname, the Sunflower Movement.

Read the rest of the article here.