Struggle News #6, June 23, 2009.
Struggle News is Korea Indymedia's tuesday program of Media Redevelopment Action Radio, a radio project of the Candle Light Media Center in Yongsan, Seoul, South Korea. We hope to report the news of social movements in Korea. Anyone is invited to join us as a guest, help report news and engage in discussion. Just come to the Candle Light Media Center around 11:30am on tuesday.
Thurs, June 18 - A senior producer, three producers and a writer for the MBC documentary program, "PD Notebook" were indicted by public prosecutors with charges of defamation and "disruption of operations."
The program was an investigative report on mad cow disease broadcasted on April 29, 2008. This was after the Lee MB regime agreed to resume US beef imports, a policy which massive amounts of people were demonstrating against on a daily basis for months.
These politically motived attempts to censor the media have been criticized widely. When the journalists were arrested in April, Amnesty International immediately released a report criticizing the Republic of Korea for violating international law by prosecuting individuals for "peaceful exercise of their right to freedom of speech."
On friday, June 19, the writer for PD Notebook, Kim Eun Hee, filed charges of dereliction of duty and defamation against the prosecutors because they made the content of three of her personal e-mails public information.
Thurs, June 18 - More than 1,000 protestant christian ministers issued a "declaration of the current state of affairs" criticizing the Lee MB administration at the progressive christian activist building in Jongno 5ga. About 100 protestants came to Yongsan for their religious service. This day was also the 150 day anniversary of the Yongsan disaster.
Fri, June 19 - An undercover cop came to the sit-in location in Yongsan around 5:30pm and began photographing people as they were eating dinner. The undercover cop was hanging around with new police units that arrived from a police department from the SeongNam area outside of Yongsan. Once people noticed the undercover cop taking photos, people approached him and asked him who he is and what he is doing. More police came in the hundreds. Catholic priests came out to check it out and began protesting the cop's illegal photography and the riot police defending the undercover cop. The cops began severely beating a few catholic priests and dj dope approached with a camera to take photos and riot cops arrested him without reading him his rights or telling him why he was being arrested.
Fri, June 19 - A benefit solidarity party for "Java," a comrade political prisoner who was arrested on the anniversary of the candle light protests that began last year. Java is still in jail and this party which featured music performances, food, drinks, face-painting and other such festivities, was held as a fund-raising solidarity for Java.
Sat, June 20 - A funeral was held for Park Jong Tae. Park Jong Tae committed suicide in early May and he made 3 demands: 1) that the DaeHanTongOon delivery corporation cancel the lay off of workers; 2) that the DaeHanTongOon delivery corporation cancel the pay cuts; 3) that delivery workers be legally recognized as workers and receive benefits. Two of these demands were met through negotiations between the Korean Cargo Transport Workers Union and the DaeHanTongOon corporation.
Sat, June 20 - The 5 month Culture Festival was held at the Yongsan sit-in location beginning at 4pm on saturday. Around 6pm, the family members of the victims of the Yongsan massacre that happened on Jan 20 took to the streets with many other activists and comrades. 4 of the wives of the Yongsan massacre victims and one catholic priest went to the hospital after being beat up by the police. The cops also destroyed the portraits of family members that were murdered by the Korea SWAT team on Jan 20. Around 7pm, about 30 people held a sit-in on the street and the police attacked them about 20 minutes later. 3 people in the sit-in action were arrested. Around 8:40pm, the police repaired the portraits and returned them to the Yongsan disaster family members.
Sun, June 21 - Around 9am in the morning, police invaded the new sit-in tent which was set up 8 days ago for the catholic priests who have joined the sit-in and began a hunger strike. The cops tore down a few placards and banners that were set up around and on the sit-in tents. One of the catholic priests, Lee Kang Seo, raised objections to the police invasion and as Lee and about 20-30 other people were surrounded by the cops, they tried to arrest him. The cops tore up the shirt that Lee was wearing and several others, including elders, were also beaten by cops. Around 9:30am, a group of more than 20 cops moved to the sidewalk and blockaded it. Nobody could walk by on the sidewalk, even people who needed to go to the bathroom. Around 9:40am, the cops illegally kidnapped Lee Kang Seo.
More news about the recently appointed Attorney General, KCIA advocating elimination of public funding for ?anti-government? NGOs, and the SsangYong Motors strike comes later in the program.
Next (This too) Week
June 23 - Korea Indymedia general meeting.
June 30 - Seoul Province Anarchist Network meeting and party.