Saturday, May 21, 2011

Protest Leaders Arrested in Jeju

This came via Bruce Gagnon at Organizing Notes and The Global Network Against Weapons and Nuclear Power in Space.

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Dear Friends:
This morning I received an urgent message (see below) from Jeju Island, South Korea saying that yesterday eight leaders of the protest effort against construction of a Navy base had been arrested. Global Network board member Sung-Hee Choi was one of those arrested - her second time in recent months.

Gangjeong village resident Professor Yang Yoon-Mo is now in his 45th day of his hunger strike while in jail for trying to block a construction truck. He has vowed to die in jail unless base construction is halted.

We need your help. We must show the South Korean and U.S. governments that people all over the world are following the story on Jeju very closely and care what happens. You can write to the South Korean Defense Attaché assigned to Washington DC. at this email and demand an end of the Navy base construction. defenattache@yahoo.com or you can call the South Korean Embassy at 202-939-5600 to show your solidarity with the Gangjeong villagers on Jeju Island.

It is important to remember that the U.S. Navy will be porting Aegis destroyers (outfitted with "missile defense" systems) at this base. The proximity of the base on Jeju Island to China's shipping lanes, that they use to import 80% of their oil, is no coincidence. It is beyond obvious that this base is absolutely going to contribute to further militarization of the Asian-Pacific region and will in fact be a dangerous trigger for war.

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Mr Gagnon,


I am writing to let you know about the current situation in Gangjeong, on Jeju Island. The military and police are stepping up their efforts to silence all opposition to the naval base. This morning, 19 May, the construction companies came with their heavy equipment together with around 100 members of the police and military. They specifically came to destroy the greenhouse on the Jungdeok coast that has been occupied by protestors for several years now as well as the many banners from around Korea denouncing the naval base. Once there intentions became know, many people gathered in an attempt to stop the greenhouse and banners from being destroyed. In addition to blocking the construction equipment some people chained themselves to the greenhouse.


Even though for the moment the protestors were successful in blocking the destruction of the greenhouse and banners, due to the overwhelming force of the police, military, and construction companies, eight protestors were arrested, all important leaders in opposing the construction of the naval base, including Sung-Hee Choi.


Obviously the situation is still ever developing, but I thought you might like to know what is going on right now. Thank you for helping to spread the news about Jeju beyond Korea.


Sincerely,


Jungjoo Park


South Korea



You can learn more about the protest effort on Jeju Island at http://nobasestorieskorea.blogspot.com/
Thanks for your support.

Bruce K. Gagnon


Coordinator

Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space

PO Box 652

Brunswick, ME 04011

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