Half a million shout for Taiwan President Ma to step down

'We do not welcome Chen Yunlin,' declares DPP chairwoman Tsai Ing-wen at the rally

Former DPP chairman You Si-kun (Former, fifth from right) led the forth line, anti-one-China-market in the 1025 demonstration on Oct. 25, 2008.

Former DPP chairman You Si-kun (Former, fifth from right) led the forth line, anti-one-China-market in the 1025 demonstration on Oct. 25, 2008.

A toddler holds a fake feeding bottle, which bears a slogan attacking tainted Chinese dairy products at yesterday's rally.

A toddler holds a fake feeding bottle, which bears a slogan attacking tainted Chinese dairy products at yesterday's rally.

Thousands of protesters gather along Ketegelan Boulevard in front of the Presidential Office yesterday.

Rick Yi

Thousands of protesters gather along Ketegelan Boulevard in front of the Presidential Office yesterday.

An elderly family member tries to fasten a sign saying 'Anti-one China education' on a young boy's head.

An elderly family member tries to fasten a sign saying 'Anti-one China education' on a young boy's head.

Hundreds of thousands of protesters from all over Taiwan marched through the streets of Taipei City in a massive demonstration to "Oppose Chinese Toxic Goods and Safeguard Taiwan" and demanded that the restored Chinese Nationalist Party (Kuomintang) government of President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) step down for "hollowing out" Taiwan's sovereignty and economy.
The demonstration, organized by the opposition Democratic Progressive Party, the Taiwan Solidarity Union and a host of other Taiwan-centric civic and social reform groups, featured five columns under the themes of opposition to: "Made in China" toxic goods, "one China education," "hollowing out of sovereignty," "a one China market" and "incompetent government" from different locations in Taipei City and Taipei County.
Demonstrators took aim at Ma and KMT Premier Liu Chao-shiuan (劉兆玄) and the KMT government's conciliatory policies toward the hostile People's Republic of China, whose chief envoy on cross-strait affairs, Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Strait Chairman Chen Yunlin is scheduled to visit Taipei from Nov. 3-9 for talks with Taiwan's quasi-official Strait Exchange Foundation.
Speaking to a massive crowd on Ketegalan Plaza, DPP Chairwoman Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) said that the participants in yesterday's march "share common ideas and anxieties."
"We are worried about the continued decline of our economy and about whether the KMT government is turning Taiwan to a part of China," stated Tsai.
Tsai related that Taiwan citizens of all social strata were increasingly worried about the rapid deterioration of the economy under Ma's governance, his decision to allow Chinese students to enter Taiwan universities and recognize Chinese diplomas, the shadow of unemployment and over "whether the KMT government can protect our children from toxic milk or dangerous toys from China."
"Our parents worry whether the KMT government is tossing away everything that they worked for all their lives and intellectuals are taking to the streets because they worry about whether one-party hegemony is leading to a retreat in democracy and freedom of speech," added Tsai.
"Over 600,000 marched today to show our anger and fury to this government," declared Tsai, just as a green laser lighted the Office of the President with the two characters for "incompetent."
The DPP chairwoman also charged that in order to pave the way for the visit of the PRC envoy, the KMT had entered into secret talks with the PRC's ruling Chinese Communist Party and agreed to reduce Taiwan's status from a "state" to an "area."
"Does being elected give you the right to turn our sovereignty into a commodity for trade?" asked Tsai, to which the crowd responded with shouts of "No!"
"We are a democratic society and no one has the right to make such a decision in the place of the 23 million Taiwan people," stated Tsai, who declared that "any change in our sovereignty status must be approved by national citizen referendum."
"We oppose the visit of Chen Yunlin because we are not willing to give up our sovereignty for the sake of his visit," stated Tsai, who vowed that the DPP "will find ways to let Chen Yunlin hear that we do not welcome him to Taiwan!"
Tsai stated that Ma owed the Taiwan people an apology for failing to fulfill his campaign promises to "make our society immediately better" and for either being ignorant of the world economy or willfully deceiving the Taiwan people about the state of the economy.
However, Tsai was interrupted by a shout of "Ma should Step Down!" from DPP Taipei City Councilwoman Hsu Chia-ching (徐佳青) that was seconded loudly by the crowd and responded by saying "At least, Premier Liu and his Cabinet should resign" and by joining the "thumbs down" gesture.
"Today is the beginning and not the end," vowed the DPP chairman.
"If the government continues to refuse to listen to the anger of the people, we will take to the streets again and show them the consequences of not listening to our voices," declared Tsai.
The DPP chairwoman had begun the march at National Taiwan University at 3 p.m. behind a banner reading "Oppose One China flanked by leading DPP politicians such as Kaohsiung City Mayor Chen Chu (陳菊) and former presidential secretary-general Yeh Chu-lan (葉菊蘭) behind a banner denouncing "one China education."
Placards and banners carried by protesters featured slogans such as "Area Chief Ma Should Immediately Step Down!," "Three Strikes and Liu's Out!," "I am not a f**king Chinese" and "Down with the Traitorous Horse (Ma's surname!)"
Students carried giant black student graduation caps emblazoned with the five red stars of the PRC flag and banners charging Ma with "selling out the future of Taiwan children."
Despite receiving a death threat with a bullet Thursday, former president Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁), wearing a green and white "U.N. for Taiwan" sweatshirt, marched in the First Column of the march under the slogan of "Oppose Chinese Toxic Goods" from the Tinghao Shopping Center in eastern Taipei.
Many protesters called "Go Abian!" or other slogans of encouragement to the former president along the route, but Chen did not make any statements himself.
The rally in front of the presidential complex featured militant speeches by a series of DPP and Taiwan-centric camp heavyweights, including former DPP vice presidential candidate and ex-premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌), former DPP chairman Yu Shyi-kun (游錫?), TSU Chairman Huang Kun-hui, Taiwan Society Chairman Wu Shu-min, black rock singer Freddy Lin and Tsai herself.