What the Parliamentarian Democracy is Teaching Us
On April 2, after massive pressure from the government the majority of the National Assembly, the South Korean Parliament, voted with 179 voices for the bill. But 68 voices voted against the bill.
Its not so long time ago that president Roh Moo-hyun of South Korea denounced the - in this time - planned war as an complete unjust war.
On the day the aggression against Iraq started he changed his mind. Now he called the invasion just and necessary action to "disarm" Iraq and the South Korean support is in the "national interest".
The public outrage about this remarcwas enormous. Members of all parts of the society demanded from Roh to take back his decision and to stop even the verbal support of the U.S.-led aggression.
The protests, starting on the outbreak of the invasion, rolled over the whole country. Nearly no day passed without any kind of protest. Press conferences, occupations of the parliament, demonstrations took place.
The massive protests led twice to the decision to delay the voting over the bill.
Yesterday after massive pressure from the government the majority of the National Assembly, the South Korean Parliament, voted with 179 voices for the bill. But 68 voices voted against the bill.
More then 80 percent of the Koreans are against this decision. South Korean liberal daily Hankyoreh wrote on March 24 "The parliament should respect the opinion of the public", but the gov`t and the majority of the lawmakers don`t care about this. One student from Seoul National University: "This is what democracy really means: You have the right to make a cross all 5 years and then the politicians don`t listen to you anymore. At least they would like shut up until the next election."
Instead of "participatory democracy", Roh promised during the election campaign, he sent the riot cops. Large units, some thousands, trashed, partly very brutal, the demonstrators while in the same time some 20 activists were complete encircled by hundreds of extremely violent riot cops.
A comrade from the youth organisation Da-Hamkke (All Together) short before the cops beat her bloody: Ok, today we lost the struggle but ist not a real defeat because it shows now for everybody what this government really think about democracy. But the day of revenge will come soon!"