Sat, Mar 27, 2004 - Page 2 News List

DPP supporters chowing down at pan-blue rallies

STAFF WRITER

With the pan-blue camp's post-election protests going into their sixth day, some Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) supporters have begun urging people to attend the rallies -- and eat the free food being served there to protesters.

In a widely circulated e-mail, DPP supporters asked recipients to fight "black gold" by eating as much of the pan-blue camp's free food as possible.

Pan-blue protesters at the rallies are provided meals and snacks throughout the day -- although former DPP chairman Hsu Hsin-liang (許信良) has been fasting to show his support for the Chinese Nationalist Party's (KMT) election-related demands.

The e-mails includes descriptions of the food available at the rallies.

"In addition to three square meals a day, you can expect snacks, including instant noodles and steamed buns. The box lunches that are being distributed contain mostly either chicken or pork," one e-mail reported.

Vermicelli noodles served by Lien Fang Yu (連方瑀), Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Chairman Lien Chan's (連戰) wife, have been praised by rally participants.

The appearance of various TV and music celebrities, the presence of several snack and soft-drink vendors and the waving of flags have helped to give the protests a festive atmosphere.

"You'll need to pay for your own transportation, but everything else is paid for [at the rallies]," one DPP supporter told reporters.

"Eating the `black-gold' party out of business," as the e-mail puts it, has become a sort of humorous counter-initiative in the post-election turmoil.

Though some DPP supporters are attending the rallies for the free food, other DPP supporters have decided to attend the rallies in order to voice their opinions.

Yesterday morning, a woman who identified herself as a senior member of the DPP took the stage to defend President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁).

"A-bian (阿扁) did not stage the shooting," the woman, surnamed Lin, said into the microphone.

The crowd of protesters, however, shouted for her to get off the stage and an angry male pan-blue supporter seemed to be on the point of assaulting her before he was dragged away by the police.

Early Wednesday morning, a young man threw eggs at People First Party Taipei City Councilor Lee Hsin (李新) while shouting, "Are you really for democracy?"

The man was quickly attacked and beaten by several pan-blue supporters before the police led him away.

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