316 DPP rally in Taipei

316 DPP rally at Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall in Taipei

With only six days to go until Taiwan's Presidential Election both the DPP and KMT held rallies all over Taiwan today. I attended the DPP's rally at Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall. Masses of people converged on the area as the KMT was holding a rally at the Songshan Tobacco Factory just across the road. I haven't seen any estimates of crowd numbers, but it would definitely have been in the tens of thousands if not more. 

Freddy Lim at the 316 DPP rally with Taipei 101 in the background

Freddy Lim, director of the DPP's youth campaign gives the number one sign to the crowd. His speech really fired up the crowd and he then led the chant of 逆轉勝 (nìzhuǎn shèng). He also sang the song that the DPP has been using in its campaign. I am sure the video of Freddy singing with Taipei 101 in the background will look great. 

316 DPP rally in Taipei - media scrum as Frank Hsieh arrives

Just before three o'clock Frank Hsieh arrived and made his way through the crowd. There was a huge scrum of security, media and supporters around him. The only photo of him I managed to capture was of the back of his head. Frank Hsieh gave a speech before the march started at the symbolic time of 3:14. 314 represents 14 March, the day in 2005 that the Chinese government enacted the Anti-Secession Law. 

Free Tibet protest at the DPP’s 316 rally in Taipei City

Leaving Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall I encountered a small group protesting about the current situation in Tibet. I had specially worn my t-shirt with a Tibetan prayer written on it to keep the people of Tibet in my mind. I am sure the crowd would have all been very sympathetic to their cause. In the week since I joined the Free Tibet march in Taipei, the situation in Tibet has suddenly exploded into violence. There are certain to be strong calls for a boycott of the Beijing Olympics now. People in Taiwan should reflect on how fortunate they are to be able to freely express their beliefs without the threat of violence.

Huge crowd at the DPP 316 rally on Ren’ai Road in Taipei

The huge crowd spilled out of the Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall and on to Ren'ai Road. The people of Taiwan will go to the polls on next Saturday the 22nd of March. I have a feeling the result will be very close.   

*more photos in the 316 DPP rally photoset at flickr.  

5 thoughts on “316 DPP rally in Taipei

  1. Great photos David. They really captured the passion and energy of the crowd and the moment.
    I wish I was there to participate. My parents are there and it must have been very emotional for them.

    I hope Mr. Hsieh wins next week.

  2. Nice commentary. I’ll be interested to see the official crowd estimates. I briefly checked out both the DPP and KMT rallies, saw the crowds on the MRT who were arriving, and later saw both rallies as they crossed Fuxing N Rd. As far as I could see, the KMT rally had a lot more people – at least twice as many early on.

  3. Ice, thanks. I really felt the “Taiwan spirit” there.

    cfimages, I didn’t cross the road to see what was happening on the other side.

  4. good for you:) Ma’s crowd in Taipei was huge. the estimate is about 150,000 according to ChinaTimes. But the DPP’s spirit was back in yesterday’s rally. And you’re right, it’s a great foundation to build upon no matter what comes out next week in the election.

  5. I attended the KMT rally and joined it for the 5km march. I’d say there were 15-20K at the end of the route for the mass rally in Ketalagan. Crowds for the DPP seemed the same. I think both parties inflate the numbers.

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