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Jeju Island Village Attacked by Police and Bulldozers; Your Support Urgently Needed
Jeju Island Village Attacked by Police and Bulldozers; Your Support Urgently Needed - Actions Listed Below
By Sung-Hee Choi | Organizing Notes
Situation on Jan. 18, Gangjeong Village, South Korea
Around 5am Monday: 500 police were mobilized with three cranes. Police raided the planned site for the ceremony for starting to work on the naval base [which will be home base for Navy Aegis destroyers of U.S. and South Korea outfitted with "missile defense" systems and used to surround China's coast]. It is in the east side of the village and the village people had been barricading the site with the cars since when the cranes contracted by the navy first entered the site on Jan. 6. About 30 village people succeeded to block it at the time. It is known that the police harshly acted today, against the people who are mostly in their old ages. The village people laid their bodies on the ground and cried to rather kill all of them. They pushed the old women and men. The police did not even mind womens underwears were taken off during the body struggles. The whole story reminds the Pyeongteak when the police attacked the village early in the dawn of May 4, 2006.
Around 6~8pm: About 47 village people including a mayor were taken away to the police station. The police unconditionally took away all the people if they protested.
8~10:30am: Five activists including Secretary Go Yu Gi, and two Catholic fathers were taken away to the police, after the short press interview. The activists strongly protested against the police and were dragged from the cranes they were protesting on the top of them. All the captured were separately detained in the three police stations of the Jeju Island. Some may be released soon or some may be even restrained. We dont know yet but the mayor is expected to get the arrest warrant.
A 70 year old man is in coma. He hit his head on the stone when he was pushed by a policeman. He was protesting against the police who was pushing an old woman.
A Korean Confederation of Trade Union activist, 41 years was carried to the hospital but released hours later.
After 1pm: The remaining village people and the activists continued to confront against the police without the clash,
Currently (at 8pm), about 30~40 people including 20 village people (mostly in their ages of 40~60) and 20 Jeju activists (30~40 years
old) are doing the candle light vigil overnight in the confined area. The police blocked the people entering the place. The police are
expected to be mobilized again tomorrow morning. A Jeju activist there says, once they are all taken away by the police tomorrow, they may
not be able to enter the area again.
Because of small numbers there, brutal taking away is expected. But she said the protests in front of the area will go on, afterward. It
is possible to contact with the people there by phone and all the international message are carried briefly via it. It empowers the people there.
In the area for the planned ceremony, all the barricades of cars by the village people were removed. Wire fence was set up. And the
contacted cranes have begun the basic construction process. There are about six cranes in the area for tomorrows continued construction.
What you can do:
- Send the strong solidarity message to the village people. Send to: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Put the pressure to the South Korean government
- Contact the South Korean embassy inside your country to demand a halt to navy base construction
- In the US call the South Korean Consulate in Washington DC
Chief of Mission: Ambassador YANG Song-chol
Chancery: 2450 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008
Telephone:  (202) 939-5600
FAX:  (202) 387-0205
- Consider to come to the village and join the struggle. Even if it is a few days, it will be the greatest support to the village people. The Jeju organizations can provide the accommodation place but not airplane fee. The experience of the Vieques will be much help here in Jeju that is an isolated place from the mainland of Korea. More details will be followed later.
Thanks very much.
(for more photos and video)