As the economy flourished, a middle class emerged in Taiwan during the mid-1970s, and more attention was focused on political issues, leading to increased discontent with regard to the violation of various fundamental rights due to the continued imposition of martial law. The people thus demanded the right to more political participation. During the process of democratization, support for greater freedom and diversity gradually became a mainstream sentiment in society. Consequently, after the lifting of martial law in 1987 (Year 76 of the ROC calendar) there was a rapid growth in various civil organizations (organized by political groups, farmers, indigenous people, laborers and environmental groups, among others). They conveyed their appeals through protests, petitions, activism and marches, in turn thrusting Taiwan into an era of greater freedom of expression and public debate. Through relentless clashes and negotiations, Taiwan gradually became a democratic, free and open society.