Despite a thunderstorm and a total government ban, more than 1,000 people joined various demonstrations across South Korea’s capital, Seoul.
The first protest gathered in the financial district. A communication worker said in disgust, “Korea Telecom is paying out billions in dividends while dismissing 300,000 workers.”
More people gathered in Seoul Plaza in the evening to rally against the free trade agreement with the US and to “Occupy Seoul”.
Protesters had to fight their way to the venue as it was surrounded by riot police.
The lame duck Lee Myung-bak government is desperate to make sure this global movement doesn’t explode in its face.
But the police action wasn’t enough to block the angry and radicalised young people and college students.
Protesters chanted, “Capitalism isn’t working”, and “Tax the rich 1 percent. More welfare for the 99 percent.”
Many also celebrated the global aspect of their action on this international day of solidarity with Occupy Wall Street.
Members of the socialist organisation All Together argued for protesters to link with workers’ struggles, like the Egyptian revolution.