Title: 9.23/24: Peace/Anti-war Rallies in S. Korea
9.23/24 PEACE/ANTI-WAR SRTUGGLE IN S.KOREA
Last weekend in Seoul rallies and demonstrations against the presence of S.K. troops in Iraq, the plan to send so-called S.K. "peace forces" to Lebanon(Saturday, 9.23) and against the construction of new USFK(United States Forces Korea) garrisons in the Pyeongtaek region(Sunday, 9.24) took place.
While on Saturday's rally and demo only few people participated(some said/wrote 500 people, some 1,500../please keep in mind that alone in Seoul about 12 Million people are living..) on Sunday's demonstration between 15,000 and 20,000 people - peace activists, students, street vendors, labor union activists, migrant workers, leftwing political activists.. - gathered in front of Seoul's City Hall.
"Save the Pyeongtaek Farmers" reported following about Sunday's demo:
Over 15,000 come to Seoul solidarity rally; villagers defy government with rice harvest
In Seoul over 15,000 people came out on September 24 for a rally in solidarity with Doduri and Daechuri, and against the Korea-US Free Trade Agreement (FTA). See below for links to photos of the demo. Daechuri and Doduri villagers ripped apart a huge US flag in protest against the base expansion. Other activists tore down and cut through a section of razor wire fence, like the fencing that keeps villagers from their fields. Several US Korean war veterans, some very elderly, came over from the US for the rally. Japanese activists came to the rally from from Henoko, a Japanese city fighting to keep a US military airport from relocating to their town. As the rally was going on, several activists scaled a nearby ancient city gate and hung a banner against the Pyeongtaek expulsion and the FTA, before being taken down and arrested by police. Solidarity actions were also held in other cities around the world..
Several days after the demonstration, villagers defied the Korean Ministry of Defense by beginning this season's harvest of one variety of rice. Villagers haven't been able to reach most of their fields since the police fenced them off with razor wire during the May 4th attack, beginning the police occupation of the fields that continues today. But in some close-in fields, villagers have been able to irrigate their crops and prepare for the harvest. On September 27th, villagers began to harvest one of the fields that the government claims as property of the Ministry of Defense. At one point during the day, a government helicopter buzzed down near the field to take pictures of those working in the fields. Villagers will keep harvesting the fields that they can still reach during the coming days. Villagers refuse to stop working their land as they have always done. The harvest shows the government that they aren't planning on abandoning their land before the government's October 31 expulsion deadline..