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Korean Action against Dispatch of Troops to Iraq

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Date : 2005-03-02 16:21:52
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Title: Introduction

Korean People's Action against Dispatch of Troops to Iraq

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Introduction
In the face of the brisk anti-war movement taking place whole around the
world, which has been developed after the 20th of March in 2003 when the
America invaded Iraq, various organizations from labor movement, civil and
social movement, religious or environmental movement and student movement in
Korea launched a campaign to fight strongly against the American invasion of
Iraq and deployment of Korean troops there. Yet the Korean government
enforced its plan to send the troops to Iraq, citing that its decision was
based on 'national interest' and 'alliance between Korea and the United
States.'        

Despite the US declared the end of the war in Iraq on the 1st of May in 2003,
the war was bound to be prolonged as the resistance of the Iraqi people was
getting stronger and stronger. The voice of criticism on the American
invasion of Iraq and the occupation policy has also been raised among the
international community and even within the America itself, as the WMD and
the alleged link between terrorist groups and Sadam Hussein regime, which had
been the case for the war, turned out to be a lie.  

In an effort to stop the government's further deployment of more troops, the
anti-war movement in Korea has launched 'People's action against deployment
in Iraq' with 351 member groups from the whole regions of Korea in November
2003 and started to campaign against the American occupation of Iraq and
additional deployment of Korean troops. It virtually built a broad solidarity
to stop the war and deployment. However, Roh administration has sent almost
3,000 of Korean troops to Iraq.               
The anti-deployment movement has to be highly valued in that it laid out the
organizational and popular foundation for the firstly existed anti-war and
peace movement in Korea in terms of organizational mass movement. The 
'People's action against deployment in Iraq' has drawn a lot of lessons from
the experience of the all-out solidarity struggle for an end to the war and
peace that it has been mounting for a year, despite of several limitations it
had. These lessons will definitely be a very important basis for the
solidarity movement for peace and end of the war in the future.   
While the campaign against the deployment was being conducted, people became
more and more aware of many uncovered things, such as illegitimacy of the
American invasion of Iraq and falsehood of the 'alliance between Korea and
the US', so the anti-war sentiment became ever more spread among the mass.
The solidarity struggle with the international anti-war movement has been
ever more active as well. The 'People's action against deployment in Iraq'
will do its utmost to end the occupation of Iraq and bring our troops home
with the international anti-war movement.  


Main Participating Organization

Korean People's Solidarity (KPS), Korean Confederation of Trade Union (KCTU),
Korean Democratic Labor Party (KDLP), Korean Peasants League (KPL), National
Federation of Street Vendors of Korea (NFVSK), National Alliance for
Democracy and Reunification of Korea (NADRK), Korean Students' Union,
National Students' Solidarity, Korea Youth Movement Council (KYMC), People's
Solidarity for Social Progress (PSSP), Power of Working Class (PWC)
All Together, Solidarity for Peace And Reunification of Korea (SPARK), Korean
Government Employee Union (KGEU), Human Rights Groups' Council, People's
Solidarity for Participatory Democracy (PSPD), Women Making Peace (WMP),
Korean Federation for Environmental Movement (KFEM), Korea Women's
Associations United (KWAU), Solidarity for Reunification of Korea, Federation
of Korean Trade Unions (FKTU), Young Men's Christian Association (YMCA)
(total 351 organization)


Main Activities

■ Sep. 2003 ~ Feb. 2004
- National signature campaign against deployment of troops to Iraq
- National rally for withdrawal of troops 
- Publishment of a booklet 'Why We Oppose Deployment of Troops to Iraq'
- Set up of Peace Camp in Gwanghwamoon
- Sit-in struggle in front of National Assembly 
- Protests against submission of proposal to the National Assembly on
deployment of troops 

■ Mar. 2004 ~ May. 2004
- March 20th International Day of Action on the first anniversary of invasion
of Iraq
- Campaign to reject general election candidates who had voted in favour of
the deployment
- National petition for withdrawal of Korean troops in Iraq

■ Jun. 2004 ~ Dec. 2004
- National candlelight vigils in commemoration of the late Kim Sun-Il and
against deployment 
- 'Embargo struggle' to stop shipment of supplies for deployment
- 100,000 relay hunger strike by organization leaders and citizens
- Submission of resolution to the National Assembly against additional
deployment 
- Protests in front of military camp of troops awaiting deployment and
protests at the airport


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