Thu, Mar 31, 2005 - Page 2 News List

Crowd estimates confirm figure of a million marchers

By Jewel Huang  /  STAFF REPORTER

DPP Chairman Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) yesterday said that the March 26 march was the largest gathering in the history of Taiwan's democratic movement, as an estimated 1 million Taiwanese people joined in the march and voiced their desire for peace and democracy.

Su made the remarks yesterday in a news conference held by the Taiwan Democratic Alliance for Peace, the organizer of the March 26 march.

The news conference was held at at the Gloria Prince Hotel (華泰王子大飯店) to express appreciation of all the people who contributed to making the massive rally a success on Saturday.

Resolution

"On March 26, the people of Taiwan showed their resolution in protecting their homeland from China's aggression, and showed it with real action. Many people brought their families along to the rally. This also demonstrates the diversity of Taiwan's society and our way of life," Su said.

"China does not know how to respect the individual. It only knows how to bully a country that is smaller than it is," he said.

"We hope the whole world will now hear the voice of the people of Taiwan, and understand that we don't plan to change the status quo in the Taiwan Strait," Su added.

Disputes

As for the disputes over the turnout for the march, according to a survey conducted by the alliance on March 28 and 29, about 5.5 percent of those polled -- 1,293 people over 20 years of age -- said that they joined in the march.

According to the Ministry of the Interior, there are about 16.74 million people over 20 years old.

From these numbers, the alliance calculated that about 930,000 people participated in the historic event.

Historic

"About 670,000 people actually joined in the march. They came together from 10 different routes. Then about 260,000 people went on to the rally that was held on Ketagalan Boulevard," Lee said.

"It was also close to estimates given by over 20 international mass media outlets," DPP Secretary-General Lee Yi-yang (李逸洋) said yesterday.

The poll also supported President Chen Shui-bian's (陳水扁) comment regarding the march, saying that about 230,000 citizens of Taipei City and about 200,000 citizens of Taipei County participated in the event.

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