The Korean anti-war movement is organising a demonstration outside a court hearing for eight anti-war activists, scheduled for 2pm on Monday 27 March.
Recently, the South Korean government has been repressing the anti-war movement. In early January it fined 17 anti-war activists from 700,000 to 2 million won (approximately $700 to $2,000) for their involvement in the 2004 anti-war demonstration.
In mid January, an anti-war coalition organiser, Jeong Yong-jun, was arrested and charged with leading an unauthorised demonstration. At the end of the month, seven more activists – Bak Seok-un, Jeong Dae-yeon, Kim Gwang-il, Han Chung-mok, Kwon O-hyuk, Choi Geun-ho, and Kim Bae-gon – were indicted on a charge of leading unauthorised demonstrations.
These are the activists who are appearing in court. All of them are leading organisers of our anti-war coalition. Their actions were just. Their prosecution by the government is an attack on their political and civil liberties.
People’s Action Against Dispatch of Troops to Iraq appeals to you to send your support and solidarity. We are the anti-war coalition in South Korea, composed of 351 labour and social movement organisations and NGOs. Members of the coalition include the Korean Confederation of Trade Unions, the Democratic Labour Party, and religious organisations.
Please send your names, organisations and contact information to firstname.lastname@example.org. We will compile the names under a protest statement which will be released to the media and submitted to the court as evidence.
The deadline for sending these details is Saturday 25 March. We apologise for the short notice. Recently all our efforts have been concentrated on building the 18/19 March global day of action against war and occupation. Solidarity and protest messages are welcome at any time.
The Korean anti-war movement has opposed Bush’s war since before it started and built a strong opposition to the South Korean government’s participation.
The Roh Moo-hyun government has sent the third largest contingent of troops to Iraq following the US and Britain. Korean troops are also stationed in Afghanistan as the South Korean government is supporting Bush’s occupation of Afghanistan.
Currently 3,200 Korean troops are stationed in Iraq’s northeastern province of Irbil. The Roh Moo-hyun government is already talking of a long term deployment and has announced that Korean troops in Iraq will take on more offensive missions starting this year.
Thank you very much in advance for your solidarity.
People’s Action Against Dispatch of Troops to Iraq