Participants in the annual "Autumn Struggle" labor demonstration on Sunday joined up with opposition Kuomintang (KMT) supporters at a rally encouraging people to vote "yes" in the four referendums scheduled for Dec. 18.
About 10,000 people congregated on Ketagalan Boulevard to march around the Presidential Office.
A large group of Autumn Struggle participants, made up of 32 pro-labor groups and campaigners, began their march to Taipei from Pingtung County in southern Taiwan on Nov. 13.
The event was initiated to promote the annual movement's subjects of awareness this year: ending bullying of cyber army and those in power, banning the import of ractopamine-containing pork and the preservation of algal reefs.
The last two issues relate to two of the four referendums, which ask whether the location of the country's under-construction third liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal should be relocated from its current site on the algal reef coast in northern Taiwan's Taoyuan, and whether people agree that the government should prohibit imports of pork, offal or other related products containing ractopamine.
The demonstrators' overwhelming support the four referendums was one of the main reasons they chose to attend the KMT rally.
Before the march, the KMT hosted a pro-referendum rally at Liberty Square at Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall.
The rally featured incumbent KMT Chairman Eric Chu (???) and former President Ma Ying-jeou (???), as well as other KMT leaders including seven mayors and county magistrates from the 14 cities and counties governed by the KMT.
Neither Taichung Mayor Lu Shiow-yen (???) nor New Taipei Mayor Hou Yu-ih (???) attended the rally.
As part of its bid to garner support, the KMT also deployed fleets of advertising vehicles to promote the referendums.
Conversely, the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) headed south to Tainan to encourage people to vote against the referendums.
President Tsai Ing-wen (???), Vice President Lai Ching-te (???) and Premier Su Tseng-chang (???) all appeared at a Tainan event with about 30,000 participants.
During the event, Tsai, Lai and Su took turns to take the stage and encouraged the general public to vote against the referendums.
The DPP and the KMT have planned more rallies, with both parties scheduled to host events next to one another between Liberty Square and Ketagalan Boulevard on the evening of Dec. 17.
Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel