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S. KOREA. 11.15/Last Week's Struggle Report...
15 nov 2004 Myeong-dong Sit-in Struggle Collective, today exactly since one year and one day in strike against government's policy of man hunting, mass arrests and deportation of migrant workers in S. Korea.


First of all the National Union of Civil Servants decided to go on strike from today.
But let’s start from the beginning. On Monday, 11.8 in Uijeongbu, a industrial town north of Seoul, the National Federation of Street Vendors (NFSV) held a marathon demonstration to protest against the last attacks against their members there by criminal gangs, hired by the Uijeongbu municipal “authority? drive them away from the market place.

An article about that you can read here

On Tuesday Myeong-dong Sit-in Struggle Collective (MSSC) together with local unionized workers and some students held a rally in front of Suwon’s immigration office to protest against the way, how immigration officers attacked migrant workers during arrests made. In several cases they broke in the flats of migrant workers demolished their property and violent arrested them.

On Thursday short before our weekly night struggle rally, a group of Japanese union activists visited MSSC.
On Friday the TV was in Myeong-dong to record something for a short report about our struggle. It was broadcasted yesterday in the private SBS.

Performance for…

…the TV

Visitors, actually we don’t like to see, not really

With last Saturday a rally and demo weekend marathon started. Saturday a rally and demonstration of street vendors and poor people activists begun in the early afternoon with a strong protest against the policy of driving away the non-rich out off the centers of cities. Several hundred, at least 600 persons joined the demonstration marched from downtown’s Jongmyo Park to City Hall Plaza.

Here already several thousands of workers, students and other political activists gathered to join the “General Rally for People’s Solidarity? in the late afternoon.

Short after the street vendors arrived there, thousands of organized peasants arrived too

Short after dusk masses of riot cops started to attack the rally – the crowds were increasing to tenth of thousands demonstrators, what was leading to a long hard street battle between mainly angry peasants, workers and students on the one side and the cops on the other.

On the end there were no winner, but Seoul’s mayor Lee Myeong-bak, who ordered the “embellishing? of City Hall Plaza against the will of the majority of Seoul’s citizens, possibly was shocked over the sight had to see after the battle. Articles in Korean you can read here and here.

In the night in Dongguk University the General Workers Struggle Culture Festival took place. Together with Pyeonghwa Baram (Peace Wind) MSSC organized a solidarity night for to support migrant worker’s struggle. Many Korean workers participated on the event.

Of course the program of the culture festival, thousands of workers and their supporters participated, was just great, but much greater was the coming together with the Korean comrades all night long after the program on the stage finished. It’s just a beautiful tradition you find just in S. Korea (here and here you'll find Korean articles and videos about the event)
The definite highlight of this week’s struggle was yesterday’s General Workers Rally held between Sejong-no and Millennium Plaza on Jong-no. According to Jinbonet news about 100.000 workers (Minjong-ui Sori/Voice of the People reported 60.000) and their supporters participated. Here on the rally the general strike of government workers to demand the basic labor rights was declared under the frenetic rejoicing of the masses.
After the peaceful end, according to Yonhap news agency 9.000 riot cops were in readiness, of the rally hundreds of workers went to the direction of Seoul National University because they expected the gathering the to start the general strike. But the cops were faster and were already on the subway exits near the university.
Next stop was Shinchong’s Yonsei University. Here the road was blocked by activists and hundreds of workers streamed in the university. In the stadium 2.000 workers and some hundred students opened the struggle season.
Usually universities are safe places for striking workers – the government declared the strike as illegal – and a taboo zone for the riot cops. But since the 2002 elected president Roh is on “power? also university areas are not safe anymore, just remember the last year’s railway workers strike. Just some hour after the railway workers union decided to go on strike, the decision was made in Yonsei University, about 10.000 riot cops stormed the campus and arrested by using excessive violence 1.700 union activists (an article about that you can read here). So, as you can see, the situation is dangerous! JUST SHOW UP YOUR SOLIDARITY! Korean articles about the current strike and yesterday's activities you can read here, here and here,

Finally some commented and un-commented impressions from yesterday’s rally and the gathering for to open the general strike

Of course MSSC participated too!

Representatives from different Asian and Australian trade unions

A comrade from Japan

Exhibition about Burmese democrathy movement

Latuff (Brazilian cartoonist, see the drawing) is supporting Islamic Jihad - it's just ugly! Should we use stuff like that?

Yesterday it doesn't need

Yankee go home!

Flying leaflets

While tenth of thousands activists declared general strike two workers were active even on Sunday to clean capitalist's bull shit

High in the sky - demanding basic labor rights

Convenient recycling of millions of propaganda papers

Gathering in a subway stn near Seoul Univ, but the cops were faster...

Yonsei University: our guard of honour


This work is in the public domain
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