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Struggle News #8, July 7, 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 report the news about radical/progressive 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 3pm on tuesday, send an e-mail or leave a comment on the blog/report to let us know.
June 25, Thurs ? Lee Myung Bak had people take photos of him eating DdeokBokki and Eodeng as part of his “people-friendly policies” campaign.
June 28, Sun ? Japanese activists had a demonstration in front of the Korean embassy in Tokyo. The activists delivered a long statement to the embassy which has been translated into Korean. The demonstration was in solidarity with the Yongsan struggle, SsangYong Motors strike and occupation and the irregular workers struggle.
June 29, Mon ? 126 teachers were arrested in front of the Blue House when demonstrating against the prosecutor’s investigation of and plans for indicting 88 teachers for writing an emergency declaration criticizing the Lee Myung Bak regime.
July 1, Wednesday ? The Irregular Workers Law went in to effect. Companies now need to give irregular workers a regular working contract. The Irregular Workers Law allows companies to give workers “labor contracts without a specified time period” during two years. That first two year period ended on July 1. According to a study carried out by the Federation of Korean Trade Unions, 57.3% of irregular workers in public institutions have been layed off by June 30. Rather than protecting labor rights, so far the public institutions have been taking the first step in carrying out mass layoffs. These layoffs are expected to explode into the private sector businesses as well.
July 2, Thursday ? Seoul police “anti-terrorist” special attack unit had a training drill at their base in Bangbae, Seoul. The training drill was set up as an imitation of the Yongsan massacre (also, “Yongsan disaster”) of January 20 in which 5 activists were killed in a huge fire that was made by the police. The training drill featured “demonstrators” occupying the top of a large building where a fortress was built.
July 2, Thursday ? More than 20 progressive NGOs made an official refusal of government subsidies in the South Gyeongsang province. The government provincial office announced that 656 million won in subsidies would be provided to NGOs that work on “green growth” and “economic recovery.” In addition, subsidies would not be offered to NGOs that have violated the “Assembly and Demonstration Act.” The progressive NGOs’ refusal came as a result of these restrictive subsidy policies.
July 2, Thursday ? At the 10th anniversary event of the Alliance for the Realization of Human Rights held in Jongno-Gu, Seoul, prominent scholar Lee Young Hee criticized the Lee Myung Bak administration, calling it the start of an age of fascism in which human rights are not permitted to exist.
July 3, Friday ? At 5am in the morning, riot police from the Seoul YeongDeungPo Police Station invaded the Korean Teachers and Education Worker’s Union (KTEWU) headquarters. Police from the Seoul Dongjak Police Station invaded the KTEWU Seoul chapter office during the same time. Cops confiscated documents related to the recent declarations and computer servers. The Ministry of Education, Science and Technology warned the union that they will press charges against teachers who participate in the second declaration which was released as a rough draft on Thursday, July 2.
On June 30, the general secretary of Education International (EI), Fred Van Leeuwen, sent a letter to Lee Myung Bak which officially states that the EI “vehemently protests the arrests” and prosecution of education workers and teachers who publicly criticized the Lee Myung Bak regime’s policies. Van Leeuwen demanded that freedom of expression and freedom of association be guaranteed to trade unions, including the KTEWU, when they criticize the incumbent administration’s policies.
Next (and This) Week
July 11, Sat ? A huge demonstration will be held somewhere. The demonstration will be a collaboration between the KCTU, SsangYong Motors strike, Yongsan Coalition and others. The location and time of the demonstration is yet to be announced, so please check the Yongsan Coalition website or Korea Indymedia before saturday.
July 8, Wed ? A really really free market will be held at the Candle Light Media Center every day at 6pm beginning tomorrow. Come by and get the goods. It’s all free.
Candle Light Media Center is starting an infoshop. Please bring your zines, pamphlets and books, or e-mail them to us: firstname.lastname@example.org
Struggle News question of the week:
How can we make Struggle News a better radio program? Please let us know in comments and/or reviews.
Yongsan Coalition http://mbout.jinbo.net
Media Redevelopment Action Radio http://blog.jinbo.net/yongsanradio
Candle Light Media Center http://blog.jinbo.net/rhea
Korea Indymedia http://korea.indymedia.org