As we pulled into the gas station, this KMT sound truck screamed inanities at us. In Hell the sound trucks run 24-7, and they play pro-KMT music.

Yesterday the family went to the big rally an Gencheng Park in Taichung. Snagged some great Hsieh paraphenalia, and soaked up some that powerful pro-Taiwan feeling.

I snapped this pair of dueling signs on Nanjing Rd in Taichung. The sign on the left has Ma’s 6-3-3 promise, while on the right, the sign calls on voters to oppose Ma’s One China Market.

We arrived at the rally and followed the crowd into the world of green.

The vendors were out in force. My wife picked up a nifty “Taiwan Nation” hat.

One side of the main rally area. The field extended off to the sides and back for several hundred meters.

Contingents of supporters were bused in from all over the island.

A group of supporters arrives. Note the big smile — everywhere I went people insisted I take their picture, and offered grins and encouragement.

People arriving. Best part: lots of young people.

Like the last rally I attended<, this one opened with a singer.

Crowd and plot both thickening.

Totally hot DPP babes.

A group of young people showed with their “Reverse the Tide” shirts. They looked great, and the shirts were nice too.

Backstage.

Anticipation….

The speeches begin.

The cameraman at work.

Surrounded by a sea of green.

After the initial speeches, groups representing sought-after demographics appeared. Here are the farmers, threatened by Chinese produce.

The crowd cheers.

The crowd says a prayer for the dead of Tibet. Chinese treatment of Tibet is a key indicator of their actual attitudes, for Tibet and Taiwan are exactly the same issue: China attempting to incorporate territories that may or may not have belonged to the Qing empire into its own colonial system. Tibet is an important rallying point for the DPP.

Plenty of old people were there, cheering themselves hoarse, listening intently, crying and clapping. The music, taken from major feature films, was also quite effective. My son, a movie buff, identified the theme from Independence Day. Also heard were the love theme from Braveheart — the background to Hsieh’s speech — and themes from Saving Private Ryan. Let’s see….a film about independence, a film about resistance to colonialism with a bonus hack on the collaborationist noble class, and a film about saving someone…..

Locking up the youth vote.

The crowd eats it up.

Young people in the crowd watched as…

…a group came out to represent students threatened by recognition of Chinese credentials.

This wonderful woman and I had a great time together laughing and cheering.

Lin Chia-lung, Sec-Gen of the DPP, speaks. Lin ran for mayor of Taichung in 2004 and was decisively beaten by Jason Hu of the KMT. Lin also headed the DPP’s Tibet liaison organization and spoke on the topic of Tibet as well. The independence forces in both Taiwan and Tibet maintain close links, symbolized by the marriage of a key aide to Lee Teng-hui to the Dalai Lama’s nephew.

Lots of faces painted and….

…decorated.

“And the old men shall dream dreams….”

Everywhere I went in the crowd people opened their hearts to me with big Taiwan smiles. “Take my picture! Me! Me!” People held up babies and children, and attempted to jump up to be seen. What a wonderful feeling it was!

Another contingent of supporters demanded I take their picture.

My friend Andrew Kerslake, who joined us for the rally, took this one. The crowd was gigantic, spilling over into areas on the wings of the rally, standing in the streets — none of the shots taken by myself, my son, or Andrew adequately conveyed the size of the crowd.

Plenty of thumbs up for Hsieh.

Freddy Lim of the metal band Chthonic appeared onstage to appeal to the crowd.

The crowd loves him.

A Hsieh supporter smiles at the camera.

The media contingent set up on a platform overlooking the crowd.

Father-daughter bonding.

The current premier addresses the crowd.

The warmth was incredible.

Supporters cheer the premier’s speech.

More young people, followed by….

…performing children.

Vice Presidential candidate Su arouses the crowd. Su’s rich, gravelly, basso profoundo rolled across the crowd like an elemental force.

Thumbs up for Frank!

My daughter snapped me.

Hsieh, also a superb public speaker….

….roused the crowd to a fever pitch.

Then they bowed to the crowd.

To confetti, cheers, the boom of air horns and the screams of supporters, the rally closes.

Hsieh and Su came out for the curtain call.

The crowd goes nuts.

Local DPP politicos gather for the big send-off. And so we stayed to savor the atmosphere, stayed with the hard core, with the clean up crew, and with those who had forgotten where they parked their motorcycles…..

As if by magic, the clean-up began.

Outside the vendors make a few last sales….

….as rally-goers waited for their buses home.