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Archive for September 19th, 2006

Surrounding the President

Last Friday night, the protest to out President Chen was stepped up a notch with an organised march around the central Taipei area with a route designed to create a 5km circle of people around the Presidential Office. As you can imagine this would require a tremendous amount of people, and that was exactly what happened. There’s no other way to describe the turn out except to use the overused cliche ‘sea of people’ as it was literally a never ending flow of red down the street. There was no way to tell whether you were at the start or the end of the march as it was just people for as far as you could see.

The enthusiasm and energy of the crowd was kept high with never ending chanting and shouting. When one person stopped, another would take over. It mattered not who you were, whether male, female, old or young. As long as you shouted the President’s nickname (阿扁), the crowd would respond with “Step Down (下台).”

Saturday, the very next day, the President’s supporters dressed in green staged their own sit-down rally literally a block away from the Red camp. Both groups have been there since and tension is quite high as any miss-hap could result in an explosive riot. It’s obvious this is not just a few activists with nothing better to do. This is something that the whole population is involved in.

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MRT after the march

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